"It's a new way to listen to music," Renaud Defrancesco told Dezeen. "You are bathed in music without being isolated like with normal headphones, which can be dangerous because you don't hear what's around you."
His Vibso headphones play tracks via Bluetooth and create sound using a vibrating electromagnet hidden in the top of the headband, beneath an opaque plastic cover. Similar to how a speaker works, the electromagnet moves a connecting element that in turn causes a membrane to pulsate.
However, instead of a black round plastic layer used in traditional speakers, this surface is formed from two-millimetre-thick transparent acrylic glass. "The membrane is in acrylic glass because it transmits the sound well, has a good flexibility and it's easy to thermoform," explained Defrancesco.
The vibrations spread across the curved membrane down to the sections that cover the ears, where they are heard as music without the user feeling the tiny movements. "The shape of the headphones directs the sound inward, so a person close by will not hear the music," said Defrancesco.
Comparing his design to large padded noise-cancelling headphones, Defrancesco's list of advantages includes being able to share music with others if they touch their ear to the other side of the headband and not causing sides of the head to overheat.
The band can also be covered in padded fabric for added comfort. Defrancesco showed the project at the Ecole Cantonale d'art de Lausanne's Half-Time exhibition earlier this month.