andrew , avatar

Bose introduces their new Ultra Open Earbuds. “Their cuff-like fit leaves your ears totally open so you can still hear the world around you”


jordanlund , avatar

"so you can still hear the world around you"

Isn't that the exact opposite reason of why people wear headphones?

scytale ,

It's primarily for safety, like walking outside so you're aware of your surroundings. As for critical listening, and open soundstage is more accurate to the original sound than closed headphones.

solrize ,

People keep saying that, but wearing earphones while walking outside is a niche usage. It's mostly an excuse because no one knows how to do total noise cancellation. Being able to work in quiet while others are yammering around you is priceless.

scytale , (edited )

There’s a difference between using closed-back noise-cancelling headphones in an office or plane and using open-back headphones or bone-conduction while riding a bike or running so you can hear vehicles and other runners/cyclists around you.

Open-back headphones are not just niche usage. They are also used for music production, watching movies at home (feels like you’re listening to speakers in the room with you instead of small headphones), and gaming (open soundstage makes pinpointing sound around you like footsteps more accurate).

solrize ,

Yes, it's walking around outside while listening to music that is a niche usage. I know that some people do it and can't live without it, but I tend to feel that is unusual. It's annoying to see "these earphones let you keep hearing other people's conversations around you" as if that was a desirable feature, which it almost never is.


You tend to feel? Mate, it's not unusual, it's been done for decades by lots of people. Go outside and look.

BearOfaTime ,

The Walkman, introduced in the 80's, would like a word. As would the first electronic handheld radios in the 60's.

Niche? You keep using that word. I do not think that word means what you think it means.

Mbourgon ,

Many people outside do not have headphones on. But most people who are walking/running/cycling do have them on.

mosiacmango , (edited )

Yup. I used to bike with headphones hanging around my neck so i could hear some music but also the world. Its much better now with passthrough, I can put them in my ears to hear both the audio and world normally.

These look even better than the active passthrough, as they would use way less power for the same benefit. Im exactly the market for these "open" headphones.

Mbourgon ,

For what it’s worth, I’ve quite enjoyed my aftershokz, on my second pair. The one downside I have is that the wind going over them makes a noise in my ear, and the furry things you clip to your bike helmet straps don’t help enough. don’t get me wrong, you have the wind noise in your ears regardless, but the aftershocks make it worse.

On the plus side, I don’t have to worry about them ever falling off, unlike these, strapped underneath my helmet like they are.

fuckwit_mcbumcrumble ,

Being able to work in quiet while others are yammering around you is priceless.

And they make headphones for that.

But if you're out walking around in the city you absolutely want to be aware of whats around you, and it's absolutely not a niche usage. That's why the airpods, and lots of other headphone offer both. Transparency for when you want to be aware, noise cancelation for when you don't.

solrize ,

And they make headphones for that.

Hmm ok, I do see some that no longer advertise outside sound as a feature, and I haven't tried the latest ones, but I've never tried any so far that work as well as acoustic hearing protectors from the hardware store. If you have a model to recommend I might check it out.

fuckwit_mcbumcrumble ,

Full blown hearing protection and headphones with ANC are completely different beasts. Unless that hearing pro also has Active Noise Cancelation.

Hearing protection reduces the audio level by X decibels. They're great for if you're at a job sight with a lot of loud shit, or the shooting range where there's extremely loud things that will destroy you hearing.

ANC tries to actively cancel it out so if done right you don't hear anything at all. Airpods pro with well fitting ear tips work extremely well for blocking out office noises. They're not so great for sudden super loud noises. My friend swears by the comply foam tips. Just know you'll need to replace them often because the foam absorbs ear wax like crazy.

solrize ,

I haven't experienced any ANC headphones that block noise as well as hearing protectors do, but I haven't tried the newest ones, and it's hard to test them in a relatively quiet environment (office level rather than retail store level). I wonder if it's possible to try Airpods Pro. Do you have suggestions of over the ear ANC headphones that block out office noise? I prefer those to sticking things in my ear. It is possible that this stuff has gotten better since last time I looked into it.

Reducing the audio by X decibels is exactly what I want, if I can get X=100. The best I've been able to find is around X=30. That helps but if there are ANC devices with higher X, then I'd like to try them. Thanks.


wearing earphones while walking outside is a niche usage.


treadful , avatar

People keep saying that, but wearing earphones while walking outside is a niche usage.

Well, this is exactly what I use earbuds for. I have nice cans with ANC for indoor usage.

That said, no shot I'm ever going to drop $300 on something I might lose because my hood brushes my ear a little wrong.

Plopp ,

How big is this niche? Whenever I'm out walking or riding my bike with my earphones, more than half the people I see walking or biking are wearing earphones. Maybe you live in car land but over here such activities are common.

Tattorack , avatar

Dude, there are people with earbuds EVERYWHERE on the street. It's actually a problem on the bike lanes because the ones that are noise cancelling can't hear when someone is right behind them ringing a bike bell.

abhibeckert ,

wearing earphones while walking outside is a niche usage

Speak for yourself, I do it three or so hours a day.

Indoors or in a car... that's where I never wear earphones. I prefer speakers for that.

boogetyboo , avatar

Niche?? Shit man, go outside some time.

Imgonnatrythis ,

As a person, no. Most people maybe. It's incredibly liberating to not feel like you are missing out on the world around you sometimes (and safer). Sure sometimes I want to duck out and place my big puffy over ear speakers on and block everything out, but for day to day use for navigation, podcasts, phone conversations, AI interactions, and some stereo background music - this is exactly what this person wants.

ringwraithfish , (edited )

As a person

I too am a person and totally not an AI driven bot fellow human.

Plopp ,

Good human.

harry_balzac ,

As a fellow human, I enjoy being bipedal and metabolizing oxygen. Purchasing luxury products such as these Bose headphones is also an enjoyable human behavior.

Tattorack , avatar

Yes hi I am real man hey do you want to go skateboards?

Mildmantis , (edited )

Additional anecdote from me, but I specifically seek out good sound pass-thru over good noise cancelling because I use music to help focus but need to hear at the same time like, say, at work when a call comes in.

I don't need it to be particularly loud, either, as I also have audio processing disorder so some concerns I see in this thread such as (paraphrasing) "probably poor bass" isn't as much of a concern.

I currently use Sony's Latest LinkBud S earbuds, and I'm pretty happy with it. But if I were still looking for a pair, something like what's being offered here is exactly the sort of thing that would appeal to me.

These will undoubtedly appeal to a niche audience vs mass appeal, but so long as production doesn't outpace demand I could see such a line of ear buds becoming quite popular among those who want that feature specifically.

(Edit: oops, my instance got all weird and posted 4 times. Fixed.)

WallEx ,

Not if you're on the street and want to live.

Tattorack , avatar

Eeeehhhhh that depends.

I work delivering food on a bicycle. I need to be able to hear things. Would be nice if I could listing to my playlists and not drown out the car coming my way.

beeb ,

The bose quietcomfort ones do that and more. You can choose if you want to block out external sounds with ANC or enable pass-through so you can hear the world around you. Not sure why they needed to make this product.

EveningPancakes ,

Passthrough doesn't work well on a bike when there's wind rushing past the microphones that record the passthrough sound. This product fixes that.

beeb ,

OK I can see how that would be better for biking.

_Analog_ ,

May I suggest checking these out?

Not affiliated, just like mine for when I need to keep my ears completely open. Audio quality is surprisingly good, but also never going to compete with something whose sole purpose is to sound good i.e. non-sporty headphones.

Bike riding is perfect for these bone conducting headphones, you can listen to tunes while hearing absolutely everything.

Tattorack , avatar

180 US for 10 hours of battery life and, allegedly, a full titanium body. That's honestly reasonable.

Now the real question is; do they ship to Denmark? I'll have to check that out after work.

aeki , avatar

Seems like only the US is available. I am also curious about a product like this that'd deliver to Sweden.

Tattorack , avatar

Well, it turns out Telenor is selling that exact model here. Maybe check your phone provider?

brian ,

I have a pair, and they're really convenient. Occasionally they do make me feel sick if I wear them too long though

Azal ,

I use the shockz (another open ear headset) daily with my job. Work on equipment, a lot of tedious opening up a machine and fixing it. I don't have a singular place but move around a lot. Going from earbuds that I have to take out just to have a conversation if someone comes up and asks questions vs the open ear allows me to be able to know what's happening around me, keeps from annoying those around me with whatever I'm listening to, and I've chewed through so many audiobooks which has kept me from losing my mind.

lapping6596 ,

I love my shockz for running. But now just carry loops ear plugs with me for when I'm on the train or don't need to be aware of my surroundings

Blackmist ,

I guess if I liked earbuds and still wanted to hear others, I could just wear one of them...

But I don't. I like big chunky headphones, because they send a message to others, and that message is "don't talk to me".

denast ,

The amount of people in the comments not understanding why open buds are relevant to some people / the concept of earbuds overall is quite funny. I guess there's some truth in stereotypical Lemmy user rarely showing up outside 🙃

platypus_plumba ,

OK, but why the fuck are their models looking at me like I'm a piece of shit?

Do wearing these gives you a futuristic superiority complex?

Syntha ,
Psythik ,

Open almost always means no bass (unless you're spending $500+ on planar magnetic), so I'll pass.

Semi-closed back is the way to go. Best of all worlds (good sound stage + good bass).

czardestructo , avatar

You haven't even heard them and are making grand assumptions. The bass is great at low to medium listening levels but rolls off as you increase the volume due to physical limitations.

Tattorack , avatar

I'm pretty sure those physical limitations are exactly what he's talking about.

abhibeckert ,

Sure but "almost always" is not "always". Maybe don't judge these until you've heard them?

Geek_King ,

Do we know they're bone conducting? or is this like the head phones on the Valve Index, highly directional and focused speakers which only project sound in a very narrow band spaciously?

fuckwit_mcbumcrumble ,

No, they attach to your earlobe.

Caboose12000 ,

tbeyre defknitly not bone conducting, bone conduction headphones don't go in your ear

czardestructo , avatar

It's the later. A small speaker pointed into your ear while not blocking it.

jivandabeast ,

These actually look like something I could see people wearing all day. Other wireless earbuds make you look like a dork, but these actually look pretty stylish IMO

PsychedSy ,

I dunno about style, but I like the concept. Normal buds just don't fit my ears.

Humanbiscuit ,

I agree. They look so good. Looking forward to reviews.

LastYearsPumpkin ,

Bone conducting headphones already exist

DrMcRobot ,

… and aren’t necessarily great for everyone. They cause a substantial number of people to feel nauseous.

If these achieve a similar effect without the downsides, then that’s both new and interesting.

Jrockwar ,

And even the most expensive ones sound worse than £10 earbuds of the normal kind.

czardestructo , avatar

These sound like high end ear buds at low to medium volume levels.

daddyjones , avatar

It's looks more like they're focused audio rather than bone conducting.

Imgonnatrythis ,

So do double sided dildos, but neither is particularly salient here.

morrowind , avatar

So do open ear earbuds, this is just another one

thegreekgeek , avatar

Looks like someone at Bose saw Fringe lol

homesweethomeMrL ,

That’s great but it’s the bluetooth that’s the deal-killer

Flumpkin ,

Norm from Tested recently reviewed the "Ray-Ban Meta Smart Glasses". The most interesting use case for him was to have good, non obtrusive earphones that allow you to hear normally without blocking people out.

czardestructo , avatar

Bose actually made the first music playing sunglasses. It's where the open ear bud idea came from.

nutsack ,

earbuds are fucking stupid why don't you just wear headphones

storcholus ,

Because in the summer it's too warm on my ears

nutsack ,

[Thread, post or comment was deleted by the moderator]

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  • abhibeckert ,

    Huh? If I wear headphones outside, they will literally be drenched in sweat when I take them off. And you can't exactly put headphones in a washing machine to remove sweat from the foam padding either. They'll start to stink in no time.

    nutsack ,

    don't talk to me like I'm your mom

    Telodzrum ,

    Form factor and portability

    nutsack ,

    pussy shit basically

    Telodzrum ,

    Fellas, is it gay to want easy to carry audio devices?

    CrayonRosary ,

    Thank you for the hot take. You've really added to the discussion.

    Mango ,

    I love private sounds!

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