When it comes to headphones, I tend to prefer the over-ear variety to those that go in your ear; it’s a matter of personal preference, but I find them more comfortable. That said, the over-ear design is not without its faults. Although you’re avoiding shoving earbuds down your ear canal, you’re just replacing one discomfort with another by flattening your ears against your head. Thanks to pressure and heat, this can be an uncomfortable and sweaty experience after a long period of wear.
In an attempt to solve this over-ear design problem, Vie Shair Bluetooth headphones have been created with an “open air” design that allows the speaker to float just off your ear. By keeping the speaker off your ears, Vie Style say their headphones will allow increased airflow, generating less heat and pressure meaning increased comfort and less sweat. They’ll also make it easier to stay engaged with and interact with your environment whilst playing your music.
The open air design consists of a convertible 3D moulded frame on the headphone’s speakers. The frame easily opens and closes, allowing you to change how you’re listening to your music depending on your environment. For example, if you’re in the office and you need to stay aware of your colleagues, just open the frame and listen to your music, safe in the knowledge that if someone’s trying to speak to you you’ll be able to hear them. If, however, you’re on your commute and you really don’t want to hear the laboured breathing and sniffs of the passenger beside you, simply remove the open frame, click on the closed frame, eliminate the noise and enjoy some peace and quiet.
This is a neat design feature, but it’s not all the Vie Shair headphones can do; they also come with their own iOS and Android compatible app. The app is designed to allow you to share your music with other Vie Shair users. All you have to do is tell the app whether you’re receiving the music or transmitting it and it will invite you to pair headphones. You can connect virtually any number of Vie headsets, as long as they’re within 100 feet of each other and you’ve managed to convince your friends to buy the same headphones as you. The app also has 3-band equaliser settings which allow you to customise your listening experience for different genres.
A pointless but still pretty feature is the built-in soft LED lights around the perimeter of the speakers. It’s up to you whether the lights turn red, blue, green, yellow, or white and you can change them or turn them off completely using the app.
The Vie Shair headphones are seeking funding on Kickstarter just now, hoping to raise $150,000. At the time of writing they’ve raised $47,297 with 43 days left to go. Pledging $199 (£139) just now will secure you the super early bird deal which consists of the headphones in black or white, the open air frame, a closed air frame, a soft case, an audio cable and a USB cable. For an extra $19 (£13) you can choose from the extra colours of yellow, pink, and blue. The expected delivery of the headphones is November 2016 and they’ll be shipping worldwide. Considering the estimated retail price is $399 (£279), it might be worth jumping on the early bird deal if you’re interested.