“Disappear in Sound: Nwm’s Revolutionary Open-Air Headphones”

Nwm (short for New Wave Maker and pronounced “noom,” a representative told me) makes headphones that use a similar technique to noise canceling, but kind of turned inside-out. Instead of canceling out noise coming into your ear, the headphones cancel any noise they make that isn’t going towards you. That’s usually not a problem with earbuds or closed-back headphones, which physically contain the sound they produce. But nwm’s whole thing is that their headphones are more like a pair of small speakers right by your ears. The chair is pretty normal looking for a gamer-type one, and you wouldn’t know it had speakers hidden in it.

A revolutionary new audio brand, Nwm (also known as New Wave Maker and pronounced “noom”), has emerged from Japan’s NTT and is currently showcasing its ground-breaking personal audio technology at CES 2024. What is truly remarkable about their headphones is not what they include, but rather what they omit – any barrier between you and the outside world. In other words, there’s literally nothing there!

The company has developed headphones that operate in a similar way to noise-cancelling technology, but with a unique twist. Instead of blocking out external noise, the headphones eliminate any noise they produce that does not directly reach the user.

The concept is derived from the principles of destructive interference, where sound waves can cancel each other out when carefully tuned. This is not typically an issue with earbuds or closed-back headphones, which physically contain the sound they emit. However, Nwm’s headphones are designed to resemble small speakers placed directly near the user’s ears.

The result is a listening experience that allows for both your music or phone call and the sounds of the outside world to coexist harmoniously. No more need to remove your headphones every time someone speaks to you – perfect for those city strolls. Of course, this also means that your music or call will be heard by those around you, unless, as Nwm’s headphones do, they also emit a destructive sound wave to counteract any escaping noise. They call this feature a “personal sound zone.”

The company already offers several earbud-style headphones, but their latest unveiled at CES is truly impressive. One product is a chair with speakers built into the wings where your head rests, providing a crystal-clear audio experience when leaning back, but muted and barely audible when sitting upright even just a few inches away. The design of the chair is sleek and unassuming, making it an attractive option for gamers or anyone looking for a unique listening experience.

However, for those who don’t spend all day in a leaned-back position, Nwm has another product that may be of interest – the MBH001. This striking headphone design looks like a typical over-ear or on-ear set, but with one major difference – there is nothing in the middle or on the edges. That’s right, it’s just a frame.

I was skeptical at first, but after trying out these early versions, I was impressed. Despite the noisy show floor, I could clearly hear the sound while wearing them, but once removed from my head, I heard nothing at all. The silicone gasket serving as padding left something to be desired in terms of comfort, but overall, the headphones were lightweight and easy to manage, with a minimalist design that removes about 75% of their mass.

The MBH001 is confirmed to be the next product released by Nwm, but it won’t be available for a few months yet. In the meantime, I will be sure to keep in touch with the company and test out the final product once it is on the market.

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Dylan Williams

Dylan Williams is a multimedia storyteller with a background in video production and graphic design. He has a knack for finding and sharing unique and visually striking stories from around the world.

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