Let’s be honest: Headphones are just as much about aesthetics as they are about audio. Today we see trends for blinged-out headphones, DIY hacks for remixing your headphones and headphones designed by Chanel, but let’s bring it all back to the beginning. That’s right, styling buds first catapulted into the audio juggernaut that we’re boppin’ around in today thanks to the high design, high performance Beats by Dre. In fact, Beats by Dre still command about 62% of the market for headphones costing more than $100. But if you ask true audiophiles, the headphones’ sound quality are shoddy at best (unless you consider the bass), and they are generally considered overpriced.

But move over headphones. There’s an earbud in town with major design swagger and major sound swagger to back up their stunning good looks. Basically, these buds walk the walk and talk the talk.

Ousted Beats by Dre co-founder Steve Lamar is banking that bold design will distinguish Roam, his new audio brand, from the rest in the now-saturated market. The company’s first product, Roam Ropes, is hoping to do for earbuds what Beats by Dre did for headphones — make them fashion statements and status symbols.

Roam Ropes are designed to dangle around your neck like a pair of regular headphones when not in use, because they don’t need to be tethered to a smartphone to work.

They connect through Bluetooth and have a six-hour battery life. Roam even offers an app, Roam EQ, that allows you to personalize your listening experience by creating custom sound settings to save and share with friends.

Roam Ropes currently come in two colors, a standard graphite/black and a graphite/orange developed in partnership with Stand Up to Cancer.

Roam says the functional design is as good as the sound quality is, but we’ll let you be the judge of that. Roam Ropes are available for pre-order for $300.

What do you think about Roam Ropes? Would you shell out $300 for a pair? Sound off in the comments.

(h/t Fast Company)