Over-the-ear headphones can give you sweaty and uncomfortable ears in the hot summer days, so why not have an active cooling system to keep the heat down? Even better, how about owning a pair of hybrid headphones with integrated metal earbuds?
Ones who listen to quite a chunk of music and podcasts on their headphones get good sound isolation from all the distracting noises around them. However, wearing headphones for longer durations does come with its downsides. Feeling hot in the ears and uncomfortable being one – especially in the scorching heat and humid conditions or on the flipside in extremely cold temperatures. Dealing with the heat building up while headphones in high temperatures is very uncomfortable, let alone that greasy build-up of sweat which can result in itching.
Designer: Kevin Chiam
This heat-induced discomfort while wearing over-the-ear headphones is even more concerning in the current era which is plagued by global warming and record-breaking heatwaves. Indeed, not a good scenario for audiophiles who listen to music on their sound-isolating headphones. Designer Kevin Chiam has got a niche idea to solve this problem with an inventive headphone prototype. Meet the Thermaphones – a pair of cans that alter the temperature to nullify the effect of extremely hot temperature or the chill of winter.
These headphones have a hybrid design, wherein, they have temperature-changing earbuds for unique thermal comfort. The earcups on these headphones are compact with protruding earbuds on the inside. This promises superior sound isolation honed by the vacuum seal of the earbuds and topped by the encapsulating properties of the ear cups. Temperature control is achieved via the 2 integrated Peltier chips which are capable of toggling the temperature between 25°C and 38°C.
The idea of these audio accessories in the prototype stage is very unique as they bring great comfort even in the hottest and most humid environments or freezing cold. This also eliminates any chances of vertigo induced by the extreme variation in temperature while wearing normal headies. In fact, the project is inspired by the project Saiga4 neck wearable which works on the perception of temperature for cooling you down.