Ear Candy: The Headphones Roundup

Plywood headphones designed by David Burel. Via Selectism.

Ear adornment these days don’t just mean piercings and earrings, but now quite often include those mini loudspeakers we know as headphones. Originally such audio equipment were used for military and professional sound production applications, but have since become more widely used by people who wish to enjoy their music without imposing their decibels to people around them or while on the go.

It seemed that the headphones that people walked around in have gotten smaller, more subtle to the point that I thought that they’d eventually become invisible! But no, they’ve gotten bigger once again, and unapologetically so. I look around and see that they are now worn proudly as a badge and integrated into an entire generation’s standard everyday ensemble.

Whether on not the headphone mania inhibits socialization promotes an increasingly isolationist culture is a different matter altogether. Suffice it to say that this trend has certainly caught the fancy of designers who have come up with innovative and very stylish takes on the headphones. Here are some of my favorites.

Golden Seahorses. Via Antibromide.

The use of prints and patterns do impress that headphones are indeed fashion accessories, and are meant to coordinate with outfits.

Porsche Design Headphones by Jules Parmentier. Image from the designer's website.

The Porsche Design headphones have the design qualities we’d associate with the Porsche brand. Sleek, streamlined, and sexy.

Noisezero O+ headphones by Michael Young. Via Fascodesign.

It’s gold and bold — what a statement this one makes! Moreover, it’s made from recycled materials and boasts of zero noise.

Prototype by Brian Garret Schuur. Via Moco Loco.

Designer Brian Garret Schuur used 3D printing technology to create this prototype of personalized headphones that feature the names of the user’s favorite artists.

One Sense headphones, designed by Joe Doucet. Image via Gadget Wiki.

These headphones are not for walking, as they shut out optical stimulation so as to enhance auditory enjoyment. The forbidding spiky red exterior is probably meant to say, “do not disturb”.

Plug It In! headphones by Dorien Van Heijst. Via Design Milk.

Plug It In! headphones by Dorien van Heijst. Via Design Milk.

Aside from being made with earthy materials such as wood, leather, and porcelain, these headphones are probably more social than most. Outside the earcups are portals into your world — jacks that others can plug into and listen in your music.

Earphones

The less conspicuous earphones, while remaining small, have come out of their shells as well, so to speak. Some of them are no longer designed to be invisible, but are rather meant to make a statement of their own.

Beats by Dr. Dre gets vamped up by Lady Gaga. Image via Demi Couture.

Via Fashion Pixel

Via Fashion Pixel.

Zip Up headphones. Via Design Milk.

The zipper feature in these headphones make them look cool and stylish and incredibly practical — untangling the wires is a daily battle that a lot us would surely want to do without.

Ripple headset. Via Yanko Design.

These are actually clip on earrings! And they look very chic!

Image via Design Boom

Another take on earphones-slash-jewelry. This time in includes an mp3 player disguised as a bangle.

Elecom Designer Collection earphones. Via Novoskins.

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