The debate on whether cyclists should ride with headphones is almost fruity as the helmet debate. It might be no more dangerous than driving while on the phone or listening to deep house as loud as your speakers will allow, but then you’re way more vulnerable on a bike than in a car so understandably the issue gets people hot and bothered.
Now entering the maelstrom is a Royal College of Art graduate Gemma Roper, who has designed some bone-conducting headphones that play through your cheeks rather than your ears. Yep you did read that right.
Your cheekbones apparently pass on the sound vibrations to your inner ear, while your outer ear is free to hear any approaching traffic dangers and/or abuse. Though you might get less of the latter wearing these as they attach to your helmet straps and not your ears so at least they won’t provoke the “Why are you listening to music you death-wishing freak!” lobby.
Whether cheekbone-music affects a cyclist’s concentration enough to be dangerous remains to be seen (as with mobile phones in cars, not to mention laptops), as does whether the sound will be compromised. On that it’s safe to say we don’t think Neil Young will allow his music to be listened to that way.