Here at Brit HQ, we love to jam out — or should we say jam “in” considering we’re all plugged into our own playlists ;) But these comfy ear amplifiers aren’t just fashion statements anymore. We’ve found 17 headphones with awesome hidden powers. They’re like Diana Prince by day and Wonder Woman by night.
1. Parrot ($400): Despite the name, these headphones aren’t going to repeat everything you say. Instead, they do everything you say. The Parrot headphones have a built-in sensor that tells the microphones (yup, there’s more than one) to concentrate on your voice so that even if you’re in a noisy environment, you’ll be heard. Oh and the multiple microphones we were talking about before? There are a total of five. Three ensure that your voice is crystal clear on calls. Two microphones on the outer edges are to help with the noise cancellation technology. Polly totally gets a cracker for this!
2. OnBeat Solar Headphones ($130): External battery packs are great for phones that die out quickly, but it just adds to what we already have to carry. These headphones have rechargeable batteries in both sides of the ear cups that charge just by soaking up some sun on your way to work.
3. STREAMZ ($499): We’ve mentioned these smart headphones before and for good reason. STREAMZ have a built-in WiFi and Bluetooth-enabled Android music player so you can stop listening to the same ol’ music on your iTunes and tune into Spotify or Pandora instead.
4. LSTN ($150): Purchasing a pair of these headphones gives you the power to provide hearing aids to those in need through the Starkey Hearing Foundation. Not only do you get to give someone a life-changing experience, but you also get a nice treat as well. LSTN headphones are made from reclaimed scrap wood (the same material that goes into making high-quality instruments). With the great audio quality and the noise-isolation design, even the biggest audiophiles will be satisfied with a pair of these cans.
5. Mico: These headphones predict your mood based on your brainwaves and pick songs to play accordingly. So get pumped up while you’re getting ready to go out, then listen to some mellow blues the next morning. Although this is just a concept, Neurowear has been creating other projects such as the Necomimi, which are wearable cat ears that express your emotions based off your brainwaves.
6. Open-Ear Bone Conduction Headphones ($80): Rather than listening to music through your ears, these headphones allow you to listen through your cheek bones. The sound waves go through your bones and end up vibrating in your inner ear.
7. SoundSight Headphones ($499): These Bluetooth enabled headphones not only have HiWave technology that gives beautiful depth to music, but they also can record video, making them perfect for those ski trips when you want to listen to tunes while the scenes of your shredding down a hill. DJs can stream their live sets online while recording their audience, so even fans who couldn’t make it can experience your sights and sounds.
8. Wearhaus Arc ($179): Remember the JookBox speakers that let you and your friends add music onto one joint playlist wirelessly? Well that same spirit of music sharing is what created the Wearhaus Arc headphones. You don’t need a splitter anymore to have a friend listen to what you’re listening to. The Arc syncs multiple headphones together and you can create customized shared stations and playlists on the Arc app. An aesthetic feature that we love is the LED light rings. You get to customize your headphones’ color and when you sync up with someone else’s music, your headphones will change to their set color.
9. Alpine Headphones ($300): The built-in bass transducer lets you physically feel the highs and lows in your jams, while the Full Frequency Immersion technology simulates the sound quality and audio perspective you’d get at a live show.
10. Skullcandy Crusher ($100): If the Alpine headphones are too much for your wallet to handle, another great bass-bumpin’ option are the Crushers. There’s an awesome boom to the bass that lets you feel your music like the Alpines, but they also have a feature that the Alpines don’t have — a bass controller. You can keep it at a minimum. Or, when you’re rocking out on the treadmill, you can blast that baby to keep you going.
11. Carboncans ($190): These headphones may seem like any ordinary headphones, but their durability make them extraordinary. Flexible nylon carbon composite gives them power to withstand harsh weather conditions. So now there’s a way for you to listen to all your jams, rain or shine.
12. No Comply ($325-399): Made from RockHard Canadian Maple — the same type of wood that top-of-the-line skateboards are made from — these headphones look good and sound even better. You have the option to send in your old skateboard, and they’ll turn it into a brand new pair of headphones. Maple’s density creates a natural form of noise cancellation, but that’s not the only thing that’s natural about these environmentally safe headphones. They’re made from nothing but wood, natural leather and metal — no plastic whatsoever.
13. Headphone Divine ($299): These headphones are the world’s first DSP (Digital Sound Processing) enabled wireless headphones. DSP technology optimizes sound quality by leveling out frequency and impulse responses. The makers want great sound quality to be available to everyone without leaving a huge hole in your wallet. As DSP technology improves, so will your headphones’ sound quality. The headphones get over-the-air updates just like the average smartphone. By early next year, Headphone Divine should be available to the public.
14. Rondo Motion ($69): Rondo Motion turns your favoritel headphones into a pair that creates immersive sound, making you feel like you’re at a live performance of your favorite artist. If you turn your head, you hear the differences in the music’s dimensions as if you’re at a concert. Imagine how epic it would be to watch Mockingjay in these!
15. Glyph ($524): These headphones are like a portable movie theater. You can listen to music and you can wirelessly connect your phone to your headphones, swing down the headband to your eyes and watch a movie. The built-in screen is not like your dizzying, pixely Oculus Rift. The Glyph has a virtual retinal display that creates more realistic-looking life-like images rather than a myriad of microsized pixels. This is a huge step in the virtual reality and gaming world, and, personally, we’re pretty happy about having a movie theater on-the-go.
16. Muzik On-Ear Headphones ($299): Claiming to be the “world’s first smart headphones” is a pretty big statement to make. These smart headphones connect your music to your social media through the touch of four Hot Keys that are on the outside of the right ear cup. For easy listening, you can also customize motion sensors for skipping songs, volume and more.
17. Yuni ($75): The Yuni is a single-sided stereo headphone that allows people with hearing impairments to experience a multidimensional music and sound quality. One ear cup is divided into two halves (upper and lower) so everyone — including those with unilateral hearing loss — can experience full stereo sound.
Which pair of headphones with hidden powers caught your eye… er, ears? Let’s talk about it in the comments below!