I’ve tested all sorts of “smart” wearables and accessories, but at CES 2023 I experienced a first. I clipped on a pair of the Nova H1 audio earrings — yes, smart earrings — that feature an integrated headset.
Unlike wireless earbuds, or even bone conduction headphones, the Nova H1 earrings produce sound on the earlobe. At a glance, they look like a pair of trendy clip-on earrings (no piercings needed), complete with a freshwater pearl. But technology has been drilled inside the pearl to create the micro-chambers needed to produce sound.
I tried on a pair of the silver Nova H1 earrings, and priced at €595 — that's around $625 — making them some of the most expensive ear candy I’ve ever worn. (The gold model goes up to a whopping €695.) Surprisingly, they fit snugly even when I moved my head around. My biggest concern would be knocking one of these off while wearing them throughout the day.
And the Nova H1 earrings are truly made to be worn throughout the day. The active listening or talking battery life falls between 5 and 6 hours, but you’d still wear them in a dormant mode even when you’re not playing music or taking a phone call.
They come with a USB-C charging case that looks a bit like a jewellery box. The case provides up to three full charges, so you might be able to stay on-the-go with the Nova H1 for a few days depending on your listening habits.
Speaking of listening, I only had a few minutes to hear music through the Nova H1 earrings in a demo space with a lot of noise. But the jazz tune filled my ears in a way that blocked out a bunch of the ambient sound. The quality was better than I expected, producing a 360-degree soundscape that moved with me. At lower volumes, I couldn’t hear the music as well, but it let me carry on with a conversation and maintain the spatial awareness I’d need if I were to use these in the wild.
The Nova H1 earrings are available in Europe and coming to the U.S. later this year.