The Human headphones are a duality in a pair of cans; they sport an over-ear form factor, but lacking a headband, they're also true wireless headphones... as well as being capable of transforming into a portable Bluetooth speaker.
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Got all that? Good – there's a lot to unpack with these futuristic wireless headphones. Sporting a 3-in-1 true wireless design, the company behind the Human Headphones, Human Inc. says that they "deliver over-the-ear quality with the convenience of ear-buds that snaps into a portable Bluetooth speaker".
Headphones that do both
As well as having the capability to transform into a Bluetooth speaker, these improbable headphones sport all the modern conveniences of the best true wireless earbuds, including touch controls and four beam-forming microphones to pick up your speech when making calls or talking to your phone's voice assistant.
It's not entirely clear how the headphones are supposed to stay on without a headband or the seal that earbuds provide, but judging from the images, they seem to just hook over your ears – a little like the conceptual Apple AirPods designed by the Apple Macintosh team that recently surfaced.
Battery life clocks in at nine hours according to Human, which is pretty good for true wireless headphones, and means they should handle your commute as well as your after-work picnic when you transform them into a portable speaker.
Human Inc. doesn't shed much light on the level of sound quality we can expect from the Human Headphones, but it does say that they offer "great dynamic range from deep bass to high notes, accuracy of instruments, with a full sound stage", using 30mm drivers.
You can also control the amount of ambient noise you hear through the headphones with something called Blend Mode, which is a useful feature if you're crossing a busy street and need to be tuned into your surroundings.
According to the Human Inc. website, the headphones/speaker hybrid is available to buy for $399.99 (around £330 / AU$590), which is even more expensive than our current favorites, the Sony WH-1000XM3 Wireless Headphones.
Still, if you add the cost of a good pair of over-ear wireless headphones to a sturdy portable speaker, that $400 price tag seems much easier to swallow – plus, they're currently available for an introductory offer of $259 (around £210 / AU$380) – whether the Human Headphones can perform both functions to a high standard remains to be seen, though.