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Review: Oladance Wearable Stereo open earbuds

This is a revolutionary way to deliver music to your head without losing touch with the world around you.

oladance wearable stereo earbuds outside on a table
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie
The Good
360° stereo sound
Long battery life
Waterproof
The Bad
The price may put some people off
Takes some getting used to
9
Overall

You’ve never tried headphones like these. As the kids say, the Oladance Wearable Stereo headphones hit different. These are not earbuds. This is a wearable stereo.

In some instances, that might be just marketing speak.

Here is an accurate descriptor of how these headphones deliver music to your head. Unlike other open earbuds (earbuds that don’t actually go in your ear), Oladance Wearable Stereo earbuds sound like they are in your ear. It’s weird.

I had the chance to test these open-ear earbuds for the past few weeks, and I have to say, I’m thoroughly impressed. However, they might not the best option for everyone. Are they worth buying? Let’s jump right to it.

Stereo on your head

oladance wearable stereo earbuds outside on a table
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie

Wearing the Oladance headphones is like wearing classic over-the-ear headphones without the sweat. You can barely feel these sitting on your ears. There is a bit of disconnection as the sound comes mere millimeters away from your ears.

This makes it feel like you are in a room with an excellent surround sound system. You can hear the outside world since there is air between the speakers and your ear holes, but that makes these things perfect for activities in which I can’t use earbuds, like cycling.

Or from the perspective of a 13 year-old, it is perfect for them to hear me asking them to do chores and not ignore me because they have earbuds in their ears.

Since these sit on the ear instead of deep in them, they would be better compared to external speakers. The bass is there, the mids are there, the highs are there — they are just a few millimeters away.

The bass isn’t as thumping as it would be in the ear, but it’s super clean. Highs are distant enough to be distortion free and crisp. Middle ranges are delivered with excellent clarity. Overall, the stereo sound is there without the physical compression of earbuds.

Depth of sound is different here, it’s difficult to explain. Imagine sitting in a clean room with perfect acoustics closing your eyes, and your ears are numb. You can’t feel if there is anything in your ear. Then the music starts. It’s all around you and in you, but you can’t feel it. It’s kind of like that.

This feels like truer surround sound than any in-ear earbud might claim. The music is all around you, and the outside world is there too. You just have to focus to let it in, as you can easily trick your brain into only focusing on the music.

Pioneering technology

oladance wearable stereo earbuds outside on a table
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie

Oladance claims it first proposed the concept of OWS (open wearable stereo). I can’t confirm this, but the copy on its website would likely have had to pass legal muster, so we’ll accept it as gospel.

OWS changes how we consume music through our head holes. Instead of jamming things in our ears, we get an open music experience.

The improvement in chip technology and algorithms has enable Oladance to create multiple sound points and dynamic monitoring. This is calculated to form synthetic sounds.

Image: Kickstarter

Along the way, it adjusts the phase relationship between synthetic sound sources to do a bunch of other technical stuff. There is some very smart-sounding copy here. The point here is that Oladance concentrates on combining design with functionality and sound.

Sound frequencies that the human ear can’t discern are moved to frequency bands that it can. This helps with poor sound quality in open earphones. It also prolongs hearing health by not jamming all frequencies at once at varying levels.

Oladance, as focused as it is on sound quality, dreams of a world in which technology is a force for positive good. Sustainable, health-focused technology exists in some kind of utopia, likely devoid of us terrible humans.

360° Cinematic sound

oladance wearable stereo earbuds outside on a box
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie

Listening to cinematic music (such as anything by Electric Light Orchestra) sounded amazing on these things. Probably the best-sounding skull-oriented delivery system for digital versions of classic rock I’ve ever used.

Roger Waters was in my head and all around me simultaneously. I could still hear the idiot dogs barking at nothing walking by outside, without the barks busting the sound. It was just some distant awareness sneaking through the sliver of space between my antitragus and the headphones.

From the intricate artistry of Ólafur Arnalds to the spacious tones of Eli & Fur playing live from the mountains in Italy, the Oladance Wearable Stereo headphones delivered a fresh musical experience.

I’m used to listening to music with earbuds, not walking or cycling anywhere with a full stereo on my head. You’d think the ability to still hear the outside world would be a bother, but you only notice it if you want to.

With 16 hours of battery life and utilizing the latest Bluetooth protocols, there was no place for distortion. Fidelity was clear, and though they don’t touch your ears, the music comes through without popping or breaking.

It’s all ear gravy

oladance wearable stereo earbuds outside on a table
Image: Curtis Silver / KnowTechie

You will be hard-pressed to find a better-sounding open ear headphone out there. Between its 16 hours of battery life, waterproof construction, and Bluetooth 5.2 protocol, the Oladance Wearable Stereo headphones are an experience.

This is a revolutionary way to deliver music to your head without losing touch with the world around you.

Sure, you can jam some earbuds in your ears, but you’ll feel those more than the music. Here, you feel the music and forget you are wearing things on your ears.

Other open earbuds are on the market, but they all seem to lack attention to the craft. For instance, the Sony Linkbuds are big goofy things. The Cleer Audio ARC headphones sit high on your ear.

Avantree’s TW116 Open Ear headphones come close, offering similar specs. The construction of these appears not as solid, however. Same for these from Conduction Labs.

The Oladance Wearable Stereo headphones retail for $179 and are available in four colors. They can be found on the company’s website or on Amazon.

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

Editors’ Recommendations:

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The Good
360° stereo sound
Long battery life
Waterproof
The Bad
The price may put some people off
Takes some getting used to
9
Overall
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