The Nova H1 audio earrings from Nova Products GMBH are an interesting new concept: they are designed to look and be worn like clip-on earrings, but they are actually wireless earbuds.
Much like bone conduction headphones that wrap around your neck or the back or your ears without having to be inserted into your ear canals, these earbuds provide sound without physically blocking your ears. They also double a jewelry. Here’s a look at how they work.
As discussed in the video above, they work using directional sound from the pearl, which comes in a variety of colour options, to the ear.
The directional sound technology ensures that only the wearer hears the audio without distracting others. And since the buds don’t actually go into your ears, you can maintain a level of situational awareness, hearing ambient noises. With that said, this also means there’s no noise cancellation capabilities should you want them.
Each earring weighs about 7 grams, the same as a standard clip on earring, and offers long battery life. Because the stud design clips onto your ear, you don’t even need pierced ears to wear them.
But the most important question is: how do they sound? I tried a pair on for a short period and listened to a song playing (“It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls was the song they had set up at the time of my demo). They were easy to put on, though it’s tough to tell how secure they are after wearing for long periods. They can easily be pulled off, and potentially fall off the ears if you were to pull a messenger bag over your head, for example, or put on a shirt.
Audio-wise, the sound was very quiet, even though I was told the volume was set to high. With that said, it was in a loud and crowded ballroom, so it isn’t exactly the best setting to test a product like this.
Nonetheless, for something like quiet background music while you work or even go for a walk or run, commute to work (they’d look lovely with an office casual outfit), these might be ideal as all-day wear earbuds. For more discerning listening, however, and making calls, you’ll probably want to switch to a better pair. But as something you can wear all day, every day, these are more like a modern day Bluetooth headset than they are a replacement for earbuds. And they’re quite fashionable, too.