There are lots of headphones that are designed for listening to music while jogging. Higher impact training, however, can result in headphones being dislodged and broken. Former American footballer Mark Clayton has designed some headphones to combat this.
Clayton's decision to create a pair of headphones was triggered by his own headphones falling off and being damaged during a training session. He had used a variety of different headphone-types, but failed to find anything that would withstand the rigors of his day-to-day regime.
"I've tried everything in the market headphone-wise," says Clayton. "In-ears are the best for function, but the bud can become irritating after a while of having it jammed down your ear. Over-ear headphones, which are the most widely available, are more comfortable, but don’t stand a chance in intense activity."
Clayton went about designing a pair of wireless headphones specifically for high impact athletes. The first sketches were put together in 2011 and a consultant was hired to help produce a mechanical CAD model and some clay models. It then took two years to create the first proof of concept.
The Livv headphones are primarily built to stay in place regardless of how rigorous a training session is. They use over-ear pads with a "contortional" band that wraps around the side and the rear of the user's head in order to keep them in place. According to the creator, the band distributes the enough pressure across key areas of the head to deliver adequate grip for the headphones to stay in place regardless of any impact or movement.
The headphones feature Bluetooth so that users can listen to music from a smartphone, and 5 GB of onboard storage to preload music onto the headphones themselves. The integrated battery is said to provide 4-5 hours of continuous playback or talk-time.
At 5.5 oz (156 g), the headphones are lightweight and are designed to be low profile, as well as water- and sweat-resistant. In addition, it was important to Clayton that the headphones produced a good quality sound.
"We chose a 40 mm titanium driver for its superior frequency response between 10 Hz and 22 kHz," says Dale Lott of Aurisonics, who was brought in to engineer the headphones. They also make use of the aptX codec that's used in lots of mobile devices (such as the HTC One M8 and Sony's Xperia Z2 tablet) to deliver high-quality audio over Bluetooth.
A Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise funds for the Livv headphones. Assuming the funding goal is reached, backers can get their hands of a pair of the Livv headphones for a pledge of US$179. The campaign is due to end on August 12, with delivery estimated to start in April next year.
You can watch the Kickstarter pitch video for the Livv headphones below.