Klipur is an earbuds concept that replaces a charging carry case with an overnight charging pod and binding carry method.
With AirPods, we not only have to keep track of the two wireless earbuds but their charging case as well. When we’re listening to music while in a rush going or leaving somewhere, the earbuds’ charging case can get lost in the mix.
Designing an earbuds concept that eliminates the need for a charging carry case, Chris Thursfield conceptualized Klipur, a pair of earbuds that attach to one another when not in use.
Researching the ways we listen to music most often revealed to Thursfield that most listeners use earbuds while commuting to work or traveling elsewhere.
Following this research period, the young designer followed multiple iterations of earbud designs before settling on Klipur’s final form. Conceptualized with an overnight charging method, Klipur can recharge during the night alongside our smartphones.
When ready to leave, users can detach the earbuds from their charging case and attach them to one another for a compact carrying method, or throw them in their ears without worrying about where they left the charging case.
Klipur features an all-white color makeup, similar to other earbuds currently on the market, enhancing the concept’s familiarity to most users.
By utilizing the strides we’ve made in wireless technology and battery capacity, Thursfield conceptualized Klipur so that the pair of earbuds can last a full day’s use on a single charge.
Striking a balance between comfort and style, each earbud features a secure and snug grip with silicone plugs. Then, the main body of each Klipur earbud comes with an angled structure that leans closely against the skin for an even stronger hold.
Designer: Chris Thursfield
Before settling on Klipur’s final form, Thursfield used digital sketches and 3D renderings to ideate conceptual variations.
At night, users can charge Klipur in its charging pod, and come morning, the earbuds plug right into the user’s ear and attach to one another when not in use.
Conceptualized in a trio of different colors, Klipur comes in white, beige, black.
The holidays are always a good time to help someone upgrade their audio setup, whether that’s earbuds, headphones, speakers or something else. We’ve curated a list of the best sounding gear you can buy right now, with options for true wireless, noise cancelling, immersive audio and more at a range of prices and in a number of product categories. There’s even a set of $20 earbuds that would make an excellent stocking stuffer.
Sony’s excellent WF-1000XM3 true wireless earbuds were in desperate need of an update, and the company obliged earlier this year. The WF-1000XM4 are completely redesigned with a new look and smaller, more comfortable body. Sound quality is excellent and powerful active noise cancellation (ANC) can be configured to adjust automatically based on your activity or location. Sony increased battery life to eight hours (ANC on) and tacked on wireless charging this time around There’s also LDAC support for high-res audio over Bluetooth and DSEE Extreme upscaling to recover details lost to compression. The company’s speak-to-chat feature, although imperfect, is handy when you need to have a quick convo.
I said “the best just got better” during my review of the WH-1000XM4 last summer and that sentiment still holds true. No other company comes close to what Sony offers on its flagship noise-cancelling headphones when you combine sound quality, ANC performance and features. Multi-device connectivity is handy for jumping from your laptop to your phone during the workday while speak-to-chat and quick-attention mode allow you to take brief pauses for short conversations. 30-hour battery life, deep punchy bass and 360 Reality Audio support are also items Sony checked off the wish list.
Jabra was a surprise when it burst on the true wireless scene with its Elite 65t earbuds in 2018. Since then, the company has continued to refine its lineup of mid-range and premium options. In 2021, Jabra debuted the Elite 3: a tiny, comfortable set of earbuds that cover all of the basics for just $80. The comfy fit, impressive sound quality, reliable on-board controls and solid battery life make the Elite 3 as close to a no-brainer as it gets if you’re looking to give someone earbuds this year without breaking the bank.
For the audio aficionado in your life who has seemingly everything, it might be time to give Sony’s 360 Reality Audio a try. And even if you’re not willing to splurge for a top-tier streaming plan to unlock the requisite content, the company’s SRS-RA5000 speaker is still a nice centerpiece for a modest setup. With crisp and clear audio quality, the RA5000 handles all music well thanks to upscaling tech, so you’re not limited to Sony’s immersive format. There are plenty of ways to customize the sound and the speaker automatically calibrates itself to the room where it’s placed. Connectivity options abound, so the person on your shopping list can control everything from their phone without leaving their seat.
Sonos’ second attempt at a portable speaker is a more compelling product which makes it a solid option for your holiday shopping exploits. On the Sonos Roam, good audio quality only gets better when you use two of the speakers in a stereo pair. Even if you just opt for one, the compact design is much more portable than the larger Move. It’s durable and waterproof, plus you get all of the benefits of other Sonos speakers — like multi-room audio, TruePlay tuning, AirPlay 2, Spotify Connect and more.
Audio-Technica’s ATH-M50xBT were my top pick for non-ANC headphones since their debut. The combination of a fold-in design, comfy fit and warm sound quality made these so great. The company returned in August with the ATH-M50xBT2: an updated version that offers an even more compelling headphone option for anyone on your list. Alexa is now built in and multipoint Bluetooth allows you to connect to more than one device simultaneously. There’s also a low-latency mode for games and video on top of LDAC support to recover some of the sonic details typically lost to compression. And with claims of 50-hour battery life, there’s no need to plug these in often.
Earbuds aren’t typically something you’d purchase as a stocking stuffer, mostly due to cost, but JLab has an extremely affordable option if you really want to go that route. At just $20, the Go Air Pop covers a lot of the basics, including eight hours of battery life with three additional charges in the case. Touch controls and EQ presets are in play as well, alongside IPX4 water resistance so these can easily double as a workout companion for any New Year's resolutions.
What do you give the person who already has a set of headphones they really like? Something to make them sound even better. The THX Onyx is a tiny USB-C DAC (digital-to-analog converter) that supports master-quality audio content, though it obviously requires using wired headphones. LEDs indicate which format you’re listening to, including standard, high resolution, Direct Stream Digital (DSD) and Master Quality Authenticated (MQA). Inside, the Onyx packs a THX AAA-78 amplifier chip: the highest-powered mobile THX Achromatic Audio Amplifier configuration. THX says the AAA-78 makes the Onyx just as powerful as a desktop DAC or amplifier setup, but it's much smaller. The chip reduces three types of distortion by up to 40dB and maximizes output power for more dynamic range and sound pressure level (SPL). That’s a lot of power in a tiny device.
Gaming is a full sensory experience. Your seat has to pass the Goldilocks test, an HD screen brings everything into focus, and the audio needs to be crystal clear. That means that the right pair of headphones can change the whole game. Reconceptualizing gaming headphones to meet their personal requirements, design team Vasudevansr visualized a pair that moves past bulky hardware and poppy audio to instead deliver headphones that mean business.
Vasudevansr Design initially felt inspired to design its own pair of headphones to elevate the gaming experience. Frustrated by the jumps and general scratchiness that microphone stalks fail to equalize, Vasudevansr designed a pair of stalk-less headphones so that gamers don’t have to speak directly into the microphone to be heard. Confessing to this, Vasudevansr describes his initial inspiration, “I have a general dislike for stalks poking out of the units and for people who breathe into it,” they told Student Design Showcase on Instagram, “A slight protrusion from the main body, housing two microphones on each side is my idea of tackling the [microphone] stalk issue aesthetically.” Ditching the microphone stalk for an internal input and output system, Vasudevansr’s gaming headphones look sleeker and should deliver crisper, less shrill, and muffled audio.
Communicating with other gamers across servers is half the fun of playing video games, but not when all you’re listening to is someone’s breathing. To remedy this, Vasudevansr integrated an internal audio system that would be able to capture a full spectrum of frequencies without the bulkiness that accompanies protruding microphone stalks.
Designer: Vasudevansr Design
An internal audio system is contained in each earbud, equipped with dual microphones to pick up a full spectrum of frequencies.
A tough, metallic outer ear borders the headphones’ inner cushioning, which wraps the user’s ears.
Ditching the stalk microphone for an internal, slightly protruding microphone gives Vasudevansr’s headphones a cleaner look.
The pair of headphones have a slightly exposed look to them, offering view of its internal structure.
Some could say that these headphones really deliver a ‘Bang’ for their buck!
At $499, the B&O Beoplay HX aren’t cheap headphones. They carry the Bang & Olufsen tag (which does account for a slightly inflated price), but then again, the Beoplay HX are a solid piece of gear. They’re over-ear, active noise-canceling, have 40mm audio drivers, and come with an impressive 35-hour battery life. If you delve down into the details, they sport metallic accents too (although the body is primarily plastic), and even have a much better-looking protective case than the AirPods Max. Feature-for-feature, the Beoplay HX seem like they were designed to compete with the AirPods Max… and probably even win.
The wireless over-ear headphones have the highest battery-life in their category (with the AirPods Max falling short by 10 hours, and the Sony WH-1000XM4 by 5). They’re outfitted with ANC (active noise-canceling) on the inside, and when the feature’s switched off, the headphones last well beyond 40 hours on a single charge. The headphones come in black (with an all-white variant launching in a month), featuring a body made from recycled plastic, capped off with a radial-brushed aluminum disc. The ear-cups are made from lambskin with a memory foam interior, while the headband uses a combination of cowhide and knitted fabric… and the adjustable sliding mechanism is all-aluminum, offering low-tolerance, sleek adjustability like the AirPods Max. However, unlike the AirPods Max, the Beoplay HX are pretty traditional with their UI, with buttons on the left and right ear cup and even a touch-sensitive panel on the right side. The headphones support Bluetooth 5.1, although there’s even a 3.5mm jack if you’re a bit of a purist!
I love a good pair of headphones, in fact, I can’t function without my personal headphones! They’re my secret gateway from the real world, and into the world of my favorite songs and artists! I’m always on the lookout for innovative and exciting headphone designs that help me immerse myself into my own little musical realm. And during one of my headphone-seeking missions, I came across Helix by Junho Moon, and this design is as cool as it gets!
These sleek and futuristic headphones have a hidden secret – they transform into a speaker! Usually, once you’re done listening to your favorite tunes, you simply place your headphones on your desk or any other preferred spot, however, Helix’s soft headband and ball joint arm, allow you to easily twist and mold the headphones, enabling them to transform into a spiral-shaped speaker. In their speaker form, the headphones also look like a cool little sculpture, something you can place in your room, and are sure to be asked questions about! The headphones come amped with an accessible dial that allows you to control the volume, and change the songs, by lightly adjusting the dial. The dial also works perfectly when Helix is in its speaker form.
Helix is an innovative audio device that caters to all your music-hearing requirements. If you want to simply listen to music by yourself, Helix works perfectly, but if you change your mind and decide to share your tunes with the company around you, it works perfectly for that as well! In a world where our needs and demands can change any minute, multifunctional and modular products like Helix play a huge role in providing unique solutions to our unique problems – even if they are audio-based! Available in various shades like Mineral Grey, Steel Grey, and Deep Black, Helix is an uber-cool personal gadget that is portable, easy to use, and not to mention super functional!
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