28 April 2015

REVIEW: Damson Headbones Bone-conducting Headphones

A bone to pick...

No, the above title is not a typo, as these things really are called Headbones. But cease your petty jokes and sniggers, as these special bone-conducting headphones are a very clever way to listen to music and take calls whenever you also need to hear things. We popped on a pair and got testing the Damson Headbones.

In terms of appearance you might be forgiven for thinking these are normal sports headphones. Certainly the design is reminiscent of 'round-the-back' wireless headphones which ensure they don't fall off while the user is running. With the Headbones, however, there are no earbuds to slot into your ear canal, and instead you get two strange flat surfaces which surely are powered by magic.

The surfaces in question are the conduction plates which, when positioned just in front of the ear on your cheekbone, seep music directly into your skull, by-passing the sensitive part of your ears, and allowing to still hear your surroundings. Obviously for us, and most other people, the first environment in which we thought to test these was while out cycling.

In use, there are two main factors we need to tell you about... but first the techies. The Headbones are Bluetooth, which means they will pair very easily and quickly with just about any Bluetooth device. They can also act like a Bluetooth receiver, and in fact they ship with an additional pair of earbud headphones which can plug directly into the rear area. This means that they can also function like normal Bluetooth headphones, should you find yourself in a situation where you actually do just want to hear the music. So that's handy.

Right, the two things: firstly, the sound the Headbones reproduce is very good , and we were a bit taken aback by being able to hear music and spoken word tracks while our ears were completely open to the surroundings. Just like normal headphones, you can still hear the sounds when the Headbones aren't on your head, but once on and in the right position, music really resonates around your skull. Even when cycling next to busy rush hour traffic it was still very possible to hear the music clearly.

The other point was one of comfort; mainly that we couldn't find any. We followed the Headbones' included instructions to the letter, about how to mould them to your head, but still found them uncomfortable. This might have been because we're all quite large-headed males here at The Test Pit (it's a serious medical condition) but still it did slightly spoil the unique experience of wearing the Headbones. Perhaps it is entirely down to the shape of your skull, and the fact that not all products can accommodate all head types, but it is a thing to consider, especially if you have to wear glasses as well.

So despite the slight uncomfortable wear, the Damson Headbones are pretty spectacular. In terms of musical reproduction they perform very well, and the bone-conduction surfaces have to be tired to be appreciated. Hopefully your experience of the fit will be better than ours, and in terms of use while on the bike, these are a must-have for cycling music fans.


Available from www.amazon.co.uk

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