“Ears-free” headphones are on the way


At this year’s SXSW festival in Texas, Sony have been demonstrating a prototype for what they call “Concept N”, a new kind of headphones that don’t sit in or over your ears.

Instead, the speakers hang over the listener’s shoulders like a necklace, projecting a bubble of sound around your head that other people will apparently only be able to hear faintly. “People around you can hear you’re listening to something, but they can’t recognise what you’re listening to,” is how a representative from Sony explains it.

Thanks to the multi-directional speakers, you’ll be able to listen to music without sacrificing the ability to hear what’s going on around you.

The high-tech gadget also takes phone calls, comes with a voice-activated camera, a motion sensor that can tell you how far you’ve travelled if you’re exercising, and a GPS connected to Yelp that can tell you where the nearest coffee is.

Watch a demo of the headphones below.