These headphones make Apple's AirPods look inhuman

A startup called Human Inc. creates wireless over-ear headphones that may look slightly more visually alluring than AirPods. You see, they're just two ear-muffs.
Written by Chris Matyszczyk, Contributing Writer

He's human.

Screenshot by ZDNet

We return, one more tragically uplifting time, to Apple's AirPods.

These peculiar devices, resembling a depressed crotchet rejected by a musical score, have become a vital part of many humans' attire. And even being.

Some people claim they have nightmares about losing them. Seventeen percent of people keep them on during sex.

But what's the alternative? You either resort to the more traditional over-ear headphones, or you just forget the idea of wearing headphones in public at all. And who can possibly do that? 

I'm moved to fascination, therefore, that a new type of headphone seems to have emerged.

It's the over-ear wireless headphone that's just a big, black ear-muff. Or, indeed, two.

Created by a startup called Human Inc., these are two over-ear sound muffs that also turn into a Bluetooth speaker.

There's no headband, so these are just two perfectly formed lumps that you attach to your ears.

You will, of course, be concerned about the sound quality. My colleagues at CNET have some thoughts about that.

I, on the other hand, am more concerned about whether they make you look sillier than AirPods do.

Clearly, this is something of which Human Inc. is aware and, indeed, enthusiastic. On its website, the company boldly declares: "Design offers ultra-secure fit and the style to wear throughout the day."

So, you see, the creators believe you can wear these things all day and not be laughed at.

I haven't put that daring promise to the test. I confess, however, to being marginally tempted, as I'm not delighted about sticking things in my ears. Well, certainly not headphones.

Here, then, is a device that appears to offer an alternative design aesthetic.

Here is something that will surely fool people in Scandinavia and other cold-weather countries, where ear-muffs are de rigueur.

The makers claim theirs is not just a pretty ear. These headphones can apparently translate up to 11 languages if you're in Headphone Mode -- which everyone seems to be these days.

They even have something called Blend Mode, which lets you activate an external microphone and "listen to both your music and amplify the world around you." A novel concept, that.

The mere thought that you could have wireless headphones that still allow you to appreciate the outside world is quite uplifting. Human, even. Unless that outside world involves screaming children.

One more conjecture that appears in my mind is that these headphones are somewhat larger than AirPods, which might mean they'd be slightly harder to lose.

This, then, might be a fine alternative for all those who are currently waking up in terror at the mere thought that their AirPods are gone.

I've no idea whether Human headphones will catch on, especially as they cost $399.

I'm extremely glad, however, that there's now an alternative wireless headphone look.

All those AirPod-wearers create a horrible, robotic uniformity.

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