All products featured are independently chosen by us. However, SoundGuys may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links. See our ethics statement.
These new headphones by Nervana will get you — high?
It’s been said that music is a drug, but a new company by the name of Nervana is taking that phrase literally. At CES last month the company showed off a pair of headphones and a small generator that apparently can make the listener feel like they’ve been smoking. Yeah, no joke. The technology behind this might sound like something out of a science fiction movie, but it’s been getting some really positive feedback.
The earbuds have proprietary tech built-in that, when combined with the Nervana generator, gives the desired effect. So first thing you need to know is that it’s an all-or-nothing package, one won’t work without the other. Just think of it in terms of plugging in a pair of headphones into a portable DAC. To work, the Nervana generator sends small signals that coincide with the music output of your device and stimulates your vagus nerve. This lets you literally feel the music, and tricks your brain into releasing the same neurotransmitters that are released during drug use. Everything about these headphones were designed and made in-house meaning that these are a completely unique and original piece of tech.
Probably one of the coolest features of this setup is that it can be used without music playing from a source device. The Nervana generator can be put in ambient mode which will pick up the noises in your surroundings and add small electrical signals to them. This might not be all too interesting if you’re in a subway cart or a crowded store, but if you happen to find yourself wearing these at a concert it would definitely be a unique experience. Taking that idea a step further, Nervana says that if everyone at a certain location is wearing the headphones (like at a concert), then everyone will receive the same impulses and can feel the music in the same way. That said, this does kind of take away from the uniqueness that comes with live shows, but that’s a rabbit hole we can go down in the future.
There aren’t any specs as far as battery life or size of the headphones, but let’s be honest, that’s not why you’re reading this. The effects of a pair of headphones that can replicate the feeling of being high have yet to be thought of, but if this is the future of audio sign me up. The headphones will cost $299 whenever they are released, so if this sounds like something you’d be interested in better start saving up.