The Good: The safety aspect for music lovers and mobile phone junkies alike of this amazing technology cannot be over-stated. Bonus points for being waterproof and sweat proof, making them convenient for runners, cyclists and active people.
The Bad: It is not an audiophile experience but it is totally acceptable if you want portable music, safely on the go.
The Bottom Line: A great mobile audio solution for the most active people on the move, with a built in microphone for answering calls too.
This is a review of Damson’s British-made bone conducting headphones called Headbones. Priced at £99.99, they work using a Bluetooth connection and sit on the temporal bone, just level with and in front of your ears.
The sound is transferred to the inner ear using vibrations through the pads on your Headbone via your temporal bone structure. It is termed “Incisor Diffusion Technology”. The sound basically misses out your outer and middle ear and is transferred directly to your inner ear, leaving you free to experience not only the music you are listening to but the environment around you since there is nothing in your ears.
This has several benefits, not the least of which is that you can hear what is going on around you, so if you are on a bike, running, walking or anything similar and there is danger around you, you’ll be able to hear it and react. When I think about the times I used to go running with headphones on whilst I trotted across a busy road oblivious to the car horns around me, I shudder! So, the Headbones are functional, safe and pretty cool looking too, in a Star Trek kind of way.
Out of the box, the Headbone worked straight away with no fuss
The Headbones themselves are very nicely made, feel good and are presented in a glasses style case that is sturdy and protective with a carabineer for clipping on to your belt. The arms have a rubber feel (presumably for grip) and fold in for compact storage either in the case or your coat pockets, or just leave them on your head; they are light and at 80 grams you soon forget they’re there.
Very comfortable and secure on the head
The Headbones have a built in microphone which means you can make and receive calls to whilst listening to the music (which is interrupted by your phone as you would expect). This is an excellent feature and you answer your calls by simply pressing the button on the right hand pad.
You ‘pair’ the device using this same button and set-up is simple to my Nexus 5 Android but also to an iPhone. The Headbones themselves come with a set of ear buds if you really do want to block out sound.
In terms of the sound experience, the music fidelity is good. It is not an audiophile experience by any means and because your ears are open you do get that interference from the surrounding traffic, birds, etc. The frequency range claimed is 60Hz to 20kHz which is quite adequate for most people, I have found the bass to be the weak-point but as I say it is not a music connoisseurs experience.
One thing with these that is interesting is you do not need to crank up the volume; the music gets into your ears anyway. It is a slightly ticklish experience until you get used to it and turning it up doesn’t add to the experience.
The Headbones charge on a micro USB that is provided. Battery life is claimed to be 8 to 20 hours, I’ve had this set on for a good while without any charging so I’m good with that claim.
The Headbones are very light, making them comfortable to wear. They rest the weight on your ear and temples. There is an adjustable strap on the back of the Headbones that ensure a secure fit and some wild head wagging has yielded no flying Headbones to date. The Headbones are water and sweat proof and I’m sure that’s the case but I haven’t seen any rain with these as yet.
Damson Headbones: Verdict
In conclusion, the Headbones are a comfortable and secure audio solution for active people on the move with safety in mind; with the built in microphone for answering calls, it has everything.