These may look like your typical pair of earrings outfitted with — rather large — pearls, but they’re more than just jewelry: they actually double as ultra-discrete earbuds (via Gizmodo). The clip-on or stud H1 Audio Earrings from Nova Audio feature two speakers behind both pearls (which are real, by the way) that use directional sound to transmit audio up and into your ears.
Nova says the technology adds “a layer of sound” to your environment, allowing you to hear what’s going on around you while still enjoying your audio, similar to Sony’s open-style LinkBuds or Aftershokz’s bone-conduction headphones. That means they don’t have any noise-cancellation properties, which could come in handy for athletes who want to remain aware of their surroundings, as well as anyone else who doesn’t want to tune everything out.
Despite the speakers staying outside of your ear, Nova says its directional sound technology helps prevent other people from hearing whatever you’re listening to. The audio earrings offer up to 3.5 hours of music playback or 2.5 hours of talking time using the four built-in microphones. The included charging case, which, fittingly, looks like an elegant earring case, provides up to three full charges, making for around 14 hours of listening in total. There’s also a built-in button on the earrings that lets you control audio playback and phone calls.
As someone who wears earrings pretty frequently, I’m not sure how I’d feel about replacing my everyday studs with a pair of audio-emitting earrings. Something I like about my Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro is that I have the option to wear earrings and the earbuds if I so choose. Plus, the earrings weigh around 7.7 grams each, a bit heavy if you’re not used to jewelry tugging at your earlobes.
But I can still see how Nova’s audio earrings might be an attractive option, especially if you’re looking for an all-in-one solution for audio and style. Nova isn’t the only brand that’s attempted to combine earbuds and fashion (although there haven’t been too many that hang outside your ear). Planet Beyond came up with neat pair of seashell-shaped in-ear buds that you can add various accessories to, and there are even earrings out there that stylishly hook onto your AirPods.
Nova’s audio earrings come in either gold and silver, costing €695 (~$753 USD) and €595 (~$645 USD), respectively. While they’re currently available around Europe, Nova says they’ll become available in the US and Japan at the beginning of this year.