When they’re not in or on your ears, headphones are a pain to carry around. Wear a pair of over-the-ear cans around your neck, and you look like a dweeb; stuff a pair of earbuds in your pocket when they’re not in use, and the cords get all knotted up. It goes to show that while headphone designers have long since solved the mobility problem, they still haven’t addressed the portability problem: namely, how to store them easily on your body when they’re not in use.
The Helix is a new design on Kickstarter from fashion company Ashley Chloe that aims to solve the portability problem of headphones. A pair of Bluetooth headphones designed by Mika Nenonen, former lead industrial designer at Nest and Nokia, the Helix allows you to store your earbuds in a sleek aluminum bracelet when they’re not in use.
The bracelet, which looks like the Jawbone Up activity tracker in appearance, can fit any size wrist thanks to its adjustable magnetic design. It’s is thinnest near your pulse, so it’s easy to put your hand down on a flat surface when wearing it. When the headphones are out of the bracelet, one of the clasps transforms into a remote, allowing you to pause your music, pump up the volume, or answer calls.
It’s an interesting approach, but not without its drawbacks. Since the headphones are wireless Bluetooth, expect only three hours of playback per charge. And to be honest, while the idea of storing your headphones in a bracelet has a lot of merit, it seems a little fiddly. Why wrap up a pair of earbuds into a bracelet when, if you embraced a more all-in-one approach, you could have the bracelet transform into a pair of wrap-around headphones instead?