As technology advances, we’re essentially stuffing microphones and cameras into pretty much everything, whether it’s appropriate or not. On the other hand, they do make sense for headphones. In fact, it’s surprising that it took this long for Soundsight headphones to come along.
It’s a fairly simple design, really. The headphones themselves are pretty typical Bluetooth closed-cup headphones, with a 16 to 20,000 Hz range, dynamic drivers, and a USB-to-minijack design that lets you plug them into pretty much anything that will accept the jack. And, of course, plug them into the wall to charge them up. So they’re pretty conventional that way… it’s the special features that get attention.
Video Rules Everything Around Me
The Soundsights have a video camera built into the cups, as well as six microphones pointed in multiple directions to get a full soundscape. The value, of course, is for musicians, who can record video while getting the job done, and in truth there’s more effort put into the audio than the video; the camera records at a relatively paltry 720p, although impressively it can stream via Bluetooth at 624p and 24 frame per second. Not bad for a tiny face-mounted pinhole camera, although we do have to wonder what will happen once these hit the general public. It seems that we’ll be getting at least a few videos shot without the knowledge of the subjects.
That said, you might want two pairs; these only last about four hours with all features enabled.
Catching The Moment
It’s undeniably an interesting application of hands-free video, and it definitely has use, whether you’re in the gym, on the stage, or you just really enjoy having a hard-to-see camera mounted on your skull. These are currently $350 if you preorder, with an expected retail price of $500. Hey, they’re still cheaper than Google Glass.
Dan Seitz is an obsessive nerd living in New England. He lives in the Boston area with a fiancee, a dog, a cat, and far too many objects with processors.