At the CES show earlier this month I met Mike Freeman, the designer of the Cynaps Bluetooth headset. This revolutionary device uses bone conduction to send sound waves directly to the inner ear, eliminating the need to block the user’s hearing with a pesky earbud. When he offered to send me a sample I couldn’t resist.
Nearly a week into owning my headset, I love this thing. The sound is crystal clear, so clear in fact it seems rather eerie to have a friend’s voice inside my own head. It’s no illusion either, the sound waves really transcend the user’s cranium. In fact when I plug my ears it only gets louder. The mic pics up sound perfectly, so far no one has been able to tell I’m on a headset when they call me.
Just to show you how clear the reception is, here’s a clip of Mike testing out the Giro Indicator prototype, and before you ask: YES, a bluetooth bone-conduction bike helmet is in the works for mass distribution.
The velcro fastener is a must for cardio junkies like myself. When I’m riding my bike in traffic or bombing a hill, the secure fit ensures the hat won’t blow away. The Nike Dri-fit cap the Cynaps comes installed in is lightweight and wicks away moisture to keep you dry. The Bluetooth module itself is waterproof so don’t worry if you get drenched.
The vibrating pads take a little fine-tuning as everyone has a differently shaped head. Fortunately the pads are attached to the brim of the hat with velcro so they can be moved around until you find your sweet spot. I’ve found that by placing the center of the pads as close as possible to the edge of the hat’s rim, the pressure applied to the pads increases and with it, the perceived loudness of the device.
I’ll include any other tips and tricks I discover when I post a full review later. You’ll have to forgive me if it takes a while, I keep getting mesmerized by the fact I can listen to music in stereo without headphones on.
Mike is sending me a batch to sell in February, so if you like what you see leave a comment and I’ll make sure you get in on the first run.