We spotted the world's first wireless earphones-embedded earrings at CES 2023. Say hello to the Nova H1 Audio Earrings! At first glance, they don't look like anything you'd find in the audio tech world. Instead, they look like a glitzy pair of post earrings a politician's wife would wear.
However, you can clamp them onto your ears, connect them to your phone via Bluetooth, fire up Spotify, and surprisingly, music will emanate from the unassuming piece of jewelry sitting on your earlobe. But the question is, does it actually sound good?
Nova H1 Audio Earrings
Before I dive into sound quality, let's delve into the Nova H1 Audio Earring's specs. As mentioned, these harmonic earrings look like a beautiful pearl adornment on the outside, but internally, you'll find some technological wizardry at work.
Hidden inside the pearl is Nova's patented directional-sound technology. This is just tech mumbo jumbo that means "sound is sent from the earl on the Nova H1 directly to your ear canal, avoiding the spread of the sound in different directions," Nova said on its official website. In other words, if you're taking a call with the Nova H1 audio earrings, only you — no one else around you — will hear the person on the other end.
They work like wireless earbuds; it uses Bluetooth to connect to a device running Android or iOS. It delivers 3.5 hours of music play time as well as 2.5 hours of talk time. With the charging case, you can get an extra 10.5 hours of battery life.
The Nova H1 Audio is packed with two "low-energy consumption" speakers as well as four microphones.
As for the design, it's a beautiful pearl placed on a gold-plated or silver-plated clip. On the back of that clip is a button control for managing calls and music — and summoning a digital assistant. By the way, there are two variants you can choose from: clip-on and stud. The former is ideal for those with non-pierced ears while the latter is best for users with pierced ears (see gallery below).
I tried on the clip-on Nova H1 Audio Earrings, and they were comfortable, but I'm definitely concerned that they'd fly off if I make any sudden movements (e.g., brushing my hand against my earlobe). As such, I'd definitely opt for the stud.
Nova boasts that the nickel-free H1 Audio Earrings uses real pearl and are packed premium materials.
Do the Nova H1 Audio Earrings sound good?
Let me preface this by saying that I tried these earrings on at Pepcom, a CES event where innovative companies showcase their wildest tech inventions. As you can imagine, the showroom is quite loud, as such, I wasn't in the best environment to test these earrings.
However, my first impressions of the Nova H1 Audio Earrings are "Meh!" Although Nova boasts that the embedded directional-sound tech delivers audio directly into the canal, I didn't necessarily feel the music flowing into my ear. The music felt "distant," if that makes sense. The base of the snappy song the Nova PR rep played for me was good, but quality-wise, the sound was a bit too tinny for my tastes.
On the plus side, I could definitely see myself using the Nova H1 Audio Earrings for taking calls. When Laptop Mag Editor-in-Chief Sherri L. Smith tried on the earrings for herself, I listened intently to see if I could hear what she was hearing, but no dice! As such, you don't have to worry about nosybodies listening in on your conversations. I'm also curious to find out whether I would sound clear and crisp to the person on the other line, but again, I'd have to test them out again in a quiet environment to know for sure.
The H1 Audio Earrings, staring at $635, are one of the most fascinating, innovative products I've seen at CES 2023. Although I'm not too sure about how it sounds, you must admit that they would make such a fun conversation piece while you're out and about.
Keep in mind, however, that these audio earrings don't look like earbuds, so you may look a little silly when you take calls with them. It will look like you're talking to yourself, but little do they know that you've got a technological wonder sitting on your earlobe.
I can also foresee people using the H1 Audio Earrings for nefarious purposes. In the wrong hands, it could be used as a cheating tool, allowing the user to receive answers from someone on the other end. For example, a deceptive student could use these earrings to stay connected with someone willing to feed them answers for a test.
While I'm not convinced the H1 Audio Earrings delivers great music quality, there are many great use cases for discreet audio earrings, especially if you want to tap into your inner sneakiness.
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Kimberly Gedeon, holding a Master's degree in International Journalism, launched her career as a journalist for MadameNoire's business beat in 2013. She loved translating stuffy stories about the economy, personal finance and investing into digestible, easy-to-understand, entertaining stories for young women of color. During her time on the business beat, she discovered her passion for tech as she dove into articles about tech entrepreneurship, the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) and the latest tablets. After eight years of freelancing, dabbling in a myriad of beats, she's finally found a home at Laptop Mag that accepts her as the crypto-addicted, virtual reality-loving, investing-focused, tech-fascinated nerd she is. Woot!