Cochlear implants help people with profound single-sided or bilateral hearing loss get the sense of sound but come with an impending downside. The implanted user is unable to enjoy any music since the implant distorts the musical signature. Any audio frequency will sound very different/distorted and, at times, even horrible. The distortion leads to a “sense of loss,” as per Dr. Ben Oliver, Associate Professor in Composition at the University of Southampton. This problem prompted designer Woojin Jang, Jiwoo Son, and Junwoo Lim to design headphones tailored to deliver a musical experience across physical boundaries.

Dubbed Ordi, the stylish wearable gadget aims towards lifting the self-esteem of people with cochlear implants. The idea takes inspiration from the bone conduction headphones that transmit the sound by vibrating the head and jawbones. This tech bypasses the need to relay the sound to the eardrum and the inner ear. The designers combined the bone conduction technology and the features of the cochlear implant into a sound processor for a musical experience shared via smartphones or any other portable audio device. Unlike standard headphones, the Ordi is designed to automatically adjust the left and right ear balance by placing sound processing transmitters on both sides.

The result is fabulous headphones designed to sit right behind the ear for a stylish look. Much attention has been invested in the aesthetics of these unique headphones for people with a cochlear implant – allowing them to wear and share the device with pride. Plus, the fact that they enable hearing to go beyond words into a piece of soothing music experience is a feat on its own. Ordi is definitely a stylish wearable concept design that deserves to see the light of day – the world needs to be a place for every individual to experience the wonder of music.

Designer: Woojin Jang, Jiwoo Son, and Junwoo Lim

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