One of the most irritating parts about headphones is the cord. You just know that this is the part that will stop working first, but Philips has a solution, and it’s bringing it to earphones made for athletics.
In an effort to stop headphones from failing quickly, Philips is looking at Kevlar, the material used in ballistic protection — bullet-proof vests — as well as ship sails and camera shutters, thanks to its ability to be stronger than some metals.
That’s the fibre being used in the cabling, and is the main area Philips appears to be highlighting, with little information on the earphones themselves.
For now, what we know about the new earphones comes down to pricing and the people they’re meant for, starting with the JetKit, a pair of small lightweight in-earphones offering either earphone tips or earbud-esque tips depending on what you’re after.
These are small and appear to be aimed at people who would normally use the Apple white EarPods, but with some water and sweat resistance, coming in at $29.95 or $39.95 with a microphone on the cable.
Next up is the Overdrive — no, we couldn’t make up these earphone names if we tried — and these are a little different again, taking what we suspect is the same earphone but applying it to an over-the-ear earphone design, complete with earhooks, allowing them to stay in place when you go running.
We’re told there’s an “active noise isolation” feature to keep you focused on what you’re doing, though we suspect this won’t block too much noise from the outside world.
The Philips Overdrive start at $39.95, and can also be found for $49.95 with a microphone included.
Finally, there’s the Airborn, and aside for making us wonder if the name is misspelled (it’s not apparently), these are a pair of Bluetooth in-earphones able to provide up to 6 hours talk time, up to 5.5 hours play time, and what we can only assume is a degree of water and sweat resistance.
There’s no choice on this pair when it comes to a microphone, and for $150, these only come with a microphone.