Called the “VIBSO headphones”, this headband is actually meant to serve as an alternative to ear buds and headphones, even though they don’t actually go in the ear.
Designed by Ecole Cantonale d’art de Lausanne student Renaud Defrancesco, the VIBSO is made of transparent acrylic glass and sends music vibrations across its surface to the user’s ears via a vibrating electromagnet.
The magnet works, more or less, like a speaker, which has a connecting element that causes a membrane to vibrate and create sounds. In the case of VIBSO, the membrane is the glass, which transmits sound very well, and is also flexible and easy to form.
The vibrations move down the membrane and over the surface that covers part of the ears. This allows the user to wear the headband without feeling the actual vibrations running across their noggin. The shape of the VIBSO directs the sound directly inward so that only the wearer hears the music.
If need be, the headband can be covered for added comfort. Users can also share the music by letting someone put their ear up against the other side of the band. Personal space issues are up to the individuals.
According to Defrancesco, the purpose of the VIBSO headphones is to allow the user to be “bathed in music without being isolated like with normal headphones, which can be dangerous because you don’t hear what’s around you.”