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A Super Bowl champ and a pair of patented headphones: Where innovation meets inclusivity

Dome Audio's OneSound D4 headphones are touted as the world's first headphones to use surreal-sound bone conduction to extend high-quality listening to those who are deaf and hard of hearing.
Written by Jada Jones, Associate Editor
Dome Audio's OneSound D4 headphones in open listening mode against a blue background

OneSound D4 headphones in open-ear listening mode.

Image: Dome Audio

For many casual music listeners and audiophiles, having a pair of headphones is essential for getting through a morning commute or a day's worth of deep work. And some people have a list of requirements before purchasing a new pair of headphones. That typically includes true wireless connectivity, decent sound quality, noise-canceling capabilities, and open- or closed-back listening.

But what about people who are deaf or hard of hearing? Music evokes emotions, memories, and pure happiness in us all. Deaf and hard-of-hearing people can still enjoy music, but do so differently than hearing people.

Dome Audio, a self-proclaimed "super boutique tech company", aims to break down the barriers hard-of-hearing people might have to overcome when looking for a pair of headphones that meets their needs.

Dome Audio's OneSound D4 headphones set themselves apart from other headphones on the market because they claim to offer high-quality sound, stylish customization options, and bone conduction, a technology used to deliver sound to those on the deaf and hard-of-hearing spectrum.

Also: The best bone conduction headphones

And the face of the company, Super Bowl XLIX champion Tim Wright, says he was inspired to join the company by the deaf rappers and musicians who took the stage in 2022's Super Bowl halftime show. According to a press release, Dome Audio's OneSound D4 headphones will be the first to incorporate its patented Surreal-Sound Bone Conduction technology. 

Bone conduction headphones aren't new -- plenty of models are out there. But few bone conduction headphones offer the classic over-the-ear headphone design. When a hearing person puts on a pair of over-the-ear headphones, their ear canals are enclosed by the ear cushions. Then, sound waves and vibrations are pushed to the eardrum to be processed by the cochlea.

Dome Audio's OneSound D4 headphones in closed listening mode against a blue background

OneSound D4 headphones in closed-ear listening mode.

Image: Dome Audio

But some deaf and hard-of-hearing people have damage to their eardrums, which causes their hearing loss. With bone conduction, the headphones act as the listener's eardrums. The headphones decipher the sound waves from the music and turn them into vibrations that the cochlea can receive directly. 

So, as long as the listener's inner ear is in healthy condition, their skull will conduct the sound, and they can hear -- and more importantly -- feel the music. For listeners with hearing loss, the OneSound D4 headphones offer a more stylish and comfortable option for bone conduction headphones.

The OneSound D4 headphones also offer interchangeable Dome Covers, akin to the interchangeable cushion covers for the Apple AirPods Max. The Dome Covers mark the company's claim that the headphones are more stylish and customizable than other bone conduction headphones currently available. 

Also: The 10 best AirPods and AirPods Pro deals right now

Typically, bone conduction headphones are fashioned similarly to in-ear headphones, best for wearing when doing physical activity. And according to reviews, many bone conduction headphones are uncomfortable and can cause headaches. 

But the OneSound D4 headphones aren't marketed only to people with hearing loss; they're meant to include anyone who enjoys listening to music.

The headphones can be used in open- and closed-ear listening, with open-ear listening best for listeners who want to hear their surroundings and closed-ear listening for those who want to block out ambient noise. 

There's not much information about the OneSound D4's tech specs, besides that it delivers a "four-dimensional" audio experience, according to Dome Audio. The company has not disclosed what kind of speakers the headphones are equipped with, how long the battery lasts, or the headphones' sound quality.

Also: No strings attached: The best Bluetooth headphones

But if you're sold on the bone conduction technology and design features, the OneSound D4 headphones are available for preorder on Dome Audio's website. At the time this article was published, the headphones were $499.99 upon preorder

A portable charging case, matching Dome Covers, and bonus Dome Covers are included in the purchase price. Additionally, according to Dome Audio's website, those who make a preorder can expect their headphones to ship in about 34 weeks.

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