Ever tried to ask someone a question and they didn’t hear you because they had their earphones in? It is an unfortunate by-product of an over connected society and the height of personal frustration when you feel you are being ignored. With so many companies pushing for noise isolating solutions for listening to your favorite tunes, there are also some inherent dangers from tuning out the world, some even deadly. The folks at Zulu have created a pair of earphones that don’t cover your ears but rather leave them free while still allowing you to enjoy that latest hot track from your Spotify playlist, they are called the Exero.
Zulu Audio specializes in creating personal out-of-ear audio products for people wanting a better way to listen. Their philosophy is quite brilliant – they love music/podcasts/audio books and more as much as we do, but don’t want to sacrifice their own safety or comfortability for a personal listening experience, and neither should you.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of bone conducting earphones, they are largely referred to in the industry as “out of ear” audio solutions and work by using transducers to send the vibrations through bone. It usually starts in the jaw or cheekbone and ends up in the temporal bone, which surrounds the cochlea. Therefore, the vibrations skip the ear canal and eardrum to go directly to the inner ear. Put simply, music is generated just for you, without blocking out your surroundings.
The Exero earphones by Zulu are a powerful piece of audio technology that offers users a lightweight and comfortable set of Bluetooth 5.0 earphones that sit around the ear canal and produce small vibrations against the upper cheek bone that allows you to enjoy unobstructed music and ambient sound at the same time. The earphones are also IPX5 water and splash resistant for the more active among you, have respectable range at around 30 feet and promise an impressive 6 hours of continuous playback on a single charge, which we found to be accurate in our testing.
This new type of audio technology does take a little getting used to at first but largely feels normal even though you technically have nothing in your ears. For us, the biggest draw card to this type of device, despite safety, is that there is no more annoying readjusting of earphones as they slip out of ears and also they generally feel more comfortable and cause no ear fatigue on long music sessions, workouts or long haul flights which we appreciate.
At just $54.99 at the time of writing this, these are an affordable and safe option for those that love listening to music, podcasts or watching YouTube but fear the repercussions of turning off the world at the same time. They produce crisp, clear and good quality audio that will suffice for many and should be on your radar in 2020 if you are looking for anything other than an Airpods.