Want to pick a bone? & swiMP3

Here’s a handy gadget for the aquatics amongst you: an under water listening device utilising bone conduction….

Listen up audiophiles

Amazing out-of-ear listening experience comes via technology that transforms sound waves into vibrations

By JOANNE RICHARD

 

Do you hear what I hear?

And I’m not even using my eardrums — I’m actually listening through my bones.

The Audio Bone 1.0 headphones are a revolutionary ear-free listening gadget that uses bone conduction technology to transmit good quality sound through your bones directly to your inner ear.

Just slip on the Audio Bone in front of your ears and you’ll be amazed by this out-of-ear listening experience.

Amazingly the headphones don’t use your ear drums to transmit sounds so they help prevent potential long-term damage that commonly occurs to the inner ear from the prolonged use of conventional headphones and in-ear buds that are cranked up too loud.

Although the sound isn’t as distinct as conventional earbuds and requires the volume being a bit higher, the headset is a healthy alternative — and a safe one too because they don’t block your ears so you can easily hear what’s going on around you, like conversation and traffic, while listening to your favourite music.

They work for work or play, like jogging, and they’re waterproof too for swimming. My underwater test session — in my bathtub — provided clear sound although it did seem louder. And you can even hear the music while wearing earplugs, great if you work somewhere that’s noisy.

These sculpted, light-weight headphones, featuring a single cord at the back, hook over your ears and press against the hair area directly in front of your ears. Sure, they’re not as small or discreet as other ear buds out there, but they suit me fine since most ear bud designs won’t stay put and have me fidgeting with them. Plus the Audio Bone eliminates ear canal discomfort and soreness from prolonged wearing.

The headphones’ bone conduction technology transforms the sound waves into tiny vibrations that bypass the eardrum and are directly heard by your inner ear. For those whose hearing has suffered due to eardrum damage, the Audio Bone headphones claim to have you hearing music clearly again.

Available in a variety of colours including black, blue, orange and white, Audio Bone works with all standard iPhones, iPods, CD players and MP3 players.

Meanwhile, I can hear clearly now, the noise is gone.

Silence can be golden when it comes to eliminating annoying background noise, which can be a really big nuisance when it drowns out phone conversation. The Jabra BT530 Bluetooth hands-free headset silences annoying sounds with its Noise Blackout technology.

I had my husband call me with his regular headset while driving and then he called using the new Jabra hands-free headset. Even with the radio on, his voice was loud and clear without affecting his natural voice quality. Peripheral noise was noticeably less, and he didn’t have to repeat himself at all or raise his voice!

DPS technology enhances the user’s voice and reduces surrounding sound so there’s great quality sound on both sides of the call.

And since driving while talking on your cell phone is frowned upon, the BT530 is definitely worth serious consideration if you’re in the market for a BT headset.

Good looking but not flashy, it’s ultra-light, small, designed for comfort and features 5 1/2 hours of talk time.

The easy-to-use BT530 supports Bluetooth 2.0 and features intelligent volume control and has the ability to play music as well.

It comes with several size ear gels and two ear loops, plus an AC adaptor, USB charging cable and instruction guide.

JABRA BT530

Price: Jabra BT530 weighs 3.5 oz., $99; available at Best Buy.

Verdict: Make some big noise for this noise eliminating technology. Consider exchanging the hands-free headset you got for Christmas for a Jabra.

AUDIO BONE HEADPHONES

Price: Audio Bone Headphones, weighs 1.3 oz., $189; to order go to audioboneheadphones.com.

Verdict: Listen up, Audio Bone provides a quality listening experience that’s safe and healthy for your hearing.

SwiMP3 Technology

Adding Music to the Water
MP3 players have become extremely popular in the last decade. However, the pleasure of enjoying high quality mp3 files during exercise had been confined only to land sports. Determined to provide workout music for swimmers to enjoy as well, The FINIS Development Team set out to create a personal waterproof mp3 player that transmitted the best sounding music. After nearly 2 years of research and development, the first SwiMP3 prototype was created in 2004. A year later, the revolutionary SwiMP3 was released into the market and was quickly regarded by TIME Magazine as one of the top inventions for 2005.

SwiMP3 v.2
In the spring of 2007, FINIS revamped their original SwiMP3 design and released the SwiMP3 v.2. The new player has a sleek finish, with all the controls built directly into the side panels. The memory capacity doubled and the new player was adapted to play both MP3 and WMA file types.

Utilizing the Best Technology
The SwiMP3 underwater MP3 player provides an incredible audio experience through its innovative sound transfer technology. Standard mp3 players rely on the transmission of sound through the air or water causing the swimmer to perceive only muffled noise. The SwiMP3 uses bone conduction – the direct transfer of sound vibrations from the cheek bone to the inner ear – to provide the swimmer with exceptional sound clarity. The SwiMP3 is fully waterproof and can be used with all the competitive swim strokes. Just imagine listening to hours of your own music in high-fidelity during your swim.

How It Works 
The SwiMP3 is revolutionary in that it relies on bone conduction of sound. When the device is placed on any bones of the skull (i.e. the cheek bones or the mastoid tip) it leads to vibration of the fluid in the inner ear. Thus swimmers can enjoy clarity of sound with the SwiMP3 device that was never before possible. Bone conduction is a safe, well-established hearing mechanism in humans that the SwiMP3 player leverages to enhance aquatic activity. FINIS’ application of the technology brings an entirely new level of experience to swimmers of all abilities.

SwiMP3 v.2 Product Features

  • Attaches easily to any swim goggle or snorkeling mask
  • Built in MP3 control panel
  • On/Off button
  • Next / Previous track
  • Volume control
  • Pause & Shuffle functions
  • 10-hour rechargeable battery
  • 60-song (256MB) memory capacity
  • Plays both MP3 & WMA files

General SwiMP3 System Requirements:

  • Windows 98SE, 2000, ME, XP, VISTA — Mac OS 9, OS X or higher
  • Intel Pentium II 233 Mhz or equivalent
  • 256 MB Ram
  • 35 MB available hard drive space
  • USB port

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