The launch of AirPods created a booming market for truly wireless earbuds. While Beats’ on- and over-ear headphones have taken a page or two out of AirPods’ playbook with the inclusion of Apple’s in-house wireless chip, none have tried to ditch the band. There is now more pressure than ever with the release of Human Headphones which are ‘the first true wireless over-ear headphones’.
Not only do they ditch the headband, they also can be turned into a ‘powerful Bluetooth speaker’ when both headphones are snapped together. Ambient sound can be configured by tapping the outside of an earpiece, allowing users to choose how much exterior noise makes it in.
Human Headphones: An over-ear, AirPods-like experience
Much like we’ve seen with AirPods and competitors, Human Headphones adopt touch gestures for controlling playback, skipping songs, adjusting volume, and more. While they do not sport active noise cancellation, Human Headphones feature a ‘Blend Mode’ which allows users to customize the amount of ambient noise heard.
At ‘one-fifth the weight’ of traditional over-ear headphones, Human Headphones shed quite a bit of the heft typically seen in its product category. This does come at the cost of battery life, of which users can expect to get somewhere around nine hours. For comparison, many other over- and on-ear headphones deliver 20-40 hour battery life thanks to having a headband where additional battery can be stored.
Perhaps one of the most interesting features of Human Headphones is the ability to ‘translate up to 11 different languages’. If this sounds familiar, you’re probably thinking of Google’s Pixel Buds, which can also feature translation capabilities. Human Headphones’ translation feature can be used in three modes that include ‘quick translation from person to person’, ‘group translation for multiple people’, and ‘speaker translation for meetings’.
“We founded Human to completely redesign both the form and function of modern headphones,” said Ben Willis, Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Human, Inc. “Our goal was to create all-in-one headphones that are compatible with every aspect of a user’s day, whether they’re at home, commuting, or in the office.”
Pricing and availability
Human Headphones are available for order now and have a sticker price of $399, but will debut with an introductory offer that drops them to $259. They can only be ordered directly from Human at this time. Ordering direct from a company can cause a bit of hesitancy considering that so many of our online purchases go to larger retailers like Amazon, but a 30-day risk-free trial period should help folks currently on the fence regarding this purchase.
There’s a lot to like about Human Headphones. First and foremost has to be a significant decrease in weight paired with a hefty increase of wireless freedom. The ability to snap both headphones together for an on-the-go Bluetooth speaker is pure genius and helps make the beefy price tag a bit easier to justify.
While Human seems quite confident that its new headphones are comfortable, only time will tell if consumers agree. Once put on, Human Headphones look sleek and minimal, but like AirPods, they are sure to turn some heads until the design becomes more popular. Here’s to hoping this innovative offering will push the rest of the market to either mirror or come up with even more innovative designs.
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