The new “Aftershokz” headphones sit in front of your ears, not on them. They transmit sound through the bones of the skull rather than through the ears directly.

The technology was developed for the military, which naturally enough wanted their soldiers to be able to hear what’s happening around them as well as whatever messages are coming through the headphones. The difference can save a soldier’s life.

In civilian life they can possibly save anyone’s life by being able to hear cars and emergency vehicles coming while still listening to the chatter of friends or the noise of rock and rap. (So many people walk around with buds or headphones stuck in their ears, we’ve noticed the police and fire department vehicles have upped the volume on their sirens to get through to them.)

Joy, who is tech hardened and battle ready, tried out the new skull transmission headphones while Bob listened for sound leakage from close by. You know how when you’re in an elevator or otherwise close to someone listening to their iPod or whatever with their ear buds – and you can still hear what they playing? Well, with these headphones, Bob could not hear what Joy was listening to, but she said she was hearing the music quite clearly. Aftershokz headphones have the advantage that unlike ear buds, they won’t fall out. Unlike big headphones, they don’t feel tight or uncomfortable.

We couldn’t find any complaints about dangers associated with this “ear-free” technology. In fact, they’re touted for their safety. And they’re more comfortable than any other headphones we’ve tried so far. Aftershokz fits iPhones, iPods, iPads, MP3 players and most smart phones. They come with a little USB stick for charging through your computer. We saw them at discounters for $57 and for $60 at

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