Sony Debuts Concept N Ears-Free Headphones At SXSW

bye beats by dre, hello concept n

Look, headphones are great. Over the years, we've watched them evolve from massive over-the-ear cans to tiny earbuds, back to giant, oversize styles and then, of course, to fashion-forward statements. With the array of options endless, you think there's something out there for everyone, right? Nuh uh. Those with glasses, multitudes of earrings, long hair or any other combination of intertwining accessories can attest to the problems earphones can cause no matter the style. Well, it looks like Sony might have finally solved all our problems and now you can have an ear party with ease.

Debuted at South by Southwest this week, the new Sony headphones, called Concept N, look more like a sci-fi accessory than something you'd wear to listen to the new Baauer and M.I.A. jam. Unlike every other pair of headphones on the market that, you know, sit on your ears (those things that hear stuff), Concept N actually wraps around the neck with built-in multidirectional speakers that point the sound up toward the ear holes.

Made for people who would like to wear headphones but don't want to sacrifice hearing everything else around them, Concept N will allow the user to listen to music or take calls without completely blocking themselves off from the world. Also, you know, it solves some of those other pesky issues we listed above. The demo interview states that other people around the user will be able to "hear that you're listening to something, but they can't recognize what you're listening to." Oh, so like most headphones now. Neato.

There's also a camera in the neckband, the headphones can be voice-controlled, and they will come packaged with more traditional ear buds. As of now there's only a prototype, but look out for these when they roll out later in 2016.

Check out the interview, below, to see the complete overview of Sony's Concept N.