Sony's PFR-V1 personal field speakers actually are headphones. But instead of cupping or inserting the drivers over or in your ears, they dangle down and in front of your ears. You know, like a set of home theater stereo speakers. Except attached to you via a headgear like the one you wore with your braces. (Worst junior high experience ever, next to scoliosis back brace.)
The two speakers are one inch in diameter and die-cast aluminum in build, and the headband is of a light metal. Sony claims the the higher frequencies hit the outer ear, and the bass drills into your dome. $500, in April. These headphones have been in Japan for a little while now, and Wired even has a review of a prototype. (Which didn't go over so well.)
What you will look like wearing this V1:
Speakers Made Personal In a marriage between headphones and speakers, the PFR-V1 personal field speakers are designed to create a listening field around your ears. Music is projected through two 1-inch, die-cast aluminum speakers that are connected with a headband made of light-weight duralumin metal. When you place the band on your head, the speakers appear to float in front of your ears. The silicone rubber fittings on the band position the speakers about a half inch from your outer ear and direct the front of the speakers toward your ear canal. The speakers deliver mid- and high-range audio frequencies in a field of sound aimed toward the outer ear, while the bass frequency sound is delivered directly to the ear canal via the extended bass reflex ducts. By placing the speaker unit outside the ear and delivering the audio from multiple directions, you get the sense that music is being played directly in front of you — similar to the experience of being in a concert hall. The PFR-V1 personal field speakers, powered by two AA batteries, will be available in April for about $500.