Today’s challenge is “Improve headphones”.

OK, I have to admit I was a little let down by this challenge. Not because it’s not interesting but because I thought each day was going to be two words but here we are, on day 2, and it’s a new model already.

But that’s OK … change is good. Right? 🙂

Since it’s not a pair of words the use of word association lists isn’t quite as applicable. I mean, you could still do that but I don’t find them as useful when thinking about a single topic.

But since the word “improve” was used, I will use another joke writing strategy that I like. Love/Hate lists. Specifically, Hate lists. So I again time-boxed this to 10 minutes and wrote out the things I hate about headphones and eventually create a few ideas that solve a couple of those things. I looked at the top 10 open-back headphones and decided to purchase one. It has worked really well for me. I’ve read all the reviews of the headphones I’ve used on, and here is my conclusion.

Improve headphones

Things I dislike about headphones:

* bluetooth battery charging
* dying during a run
* cord is never the right length
* blutetooth audio controls are clunky
* they hurt when worn too long
* over-ear pressure
* sharing audio with multiple devices/people is hard
* dangerous while running/outside
* hard to have conversations while running
* I can’t charge them in my trunk
* I don’t want to have to plug them in to charge
* cord tangles and frays
* different connection types
* I have to carry my phone for them to work even though most workouts are very short

Bluetooth ear-bud style headphones with integrated persistent storage (e.g, micro SD card sized) that can wirelessly sync with my phone to cache music (e.g., Apple Music) for play while detached from a phone.

Bluetooth broadcast – when you’re at the gym you have to carry your phone in order to use bluetooth headphones but the gym is pumping out music. It would be great if there were a “bluetooth radio” standard where any device could join to a broadcast bluetooth signal. Once connected, the previous/next controls could be used to switch stations. The headphones would remember the connected channel the next time it’s connected (or the service could remember the device and auto-subscribe it to the correct channel).  I imagine the hardware would cost money but the service could work in either a business subscription or ad-based model.  This would be particularly interesting if the host (e.g., the gym) could create their own ads and content to distribute – why not remind me that there is a cafe downstairs or have a listener-only promotion?  This could be useful in any context where “audio tours” are used, as well.

Photo credits to ( – original download link with license information: