It takes a lot to impress me when it comes to headphones. Noise-cancelling headphones are great; Bluetooth wireless headphones are cool, too. But they're really just improvements on older designs. Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones are different; they don't even go in your ears.
Aftershokz uses a bone conduction technology that allows the "earpiece" (for lack of a better word) to actually rest in front of the ear and uses the bones of the skull to send a sound to the inner ear via vibrations. Since your ears aren't covered or plugged up with earbuds, it's easy to carry on a conversation with others and hear the world around you. Anyone who jogs or walks while listening to music knows the importance of being able to hear cars and other hazards.
Bone conduction technology was originally developed for military use, where there's a real need to have private communication while still being able to hear what's happening in the surrounding area. Aftershokz brings that ability to consumer market. With three models - a sport, a mobile version (with in-line mic), and a gaming version - there are plenty of options to choose from.
Most importantly, these headphones sound great. Vocals and high notes come through crystal clear and you can literally feel the base notes. Best of all, the headphones work perfectly with my BlackBerry. Check out the video above for our one-on-one interview, and keep it tuned to CrackBerry for more CES2012 coverage.