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By Jody McCutcheon
Nearly ubiquitous in our gadget- and media-heavy world, headphones have become tools of “personalised” expression (like cars, shoes, beer and other stylised consumer products). From Beats by Dre to Skullcandy to Sennheiser, from over-ear to on-ear to earbud style, headphones express what side of the divide the consumer falls on: audiophile or fashionista.
Well, here’s another category to consider: eco-friendly. A company called LSTN (get it? Listen!), based in West Hollywood, makes headphones not from unsustainable plastic, but from reclaimed wood–specifically, discarded scraps sourced from furniture and flooring companies. Many musical instruments, like guitars, drums, clarinets, even piano keys, are fashioned from wood. Why shouldn’t headphones exploit wood’s beneficial effects on sound? Indeed, wooden chambers enhance LSTN’s warm, natural acoustics–as Dave Grohl, of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame (above) can attest to.
LSTN offers three terrific-looking styles: tear-shaped, over-ear Troubadours ($150); fold-up, on-ear Fillmores ($100); and Bowery earbuds ($50), accompanied by a wood storage case. Each style comes in beech, cherry or ebony wood, and included with each is a four-foot, nylon-wrapped cable and a microphone for phone calls or voice recording.
But here’s the full-circle poetry of these headphones: LSTN will donate a portion of the proceeds from every pair of headphones bought to the Starkey Hearing Foundation, which in turn donates about 100,000 hearing aids a year worldwide to help people who suffer from hearing impairments. So by buying these headphones, you can actually help allow hearing-impaired people to enjoy music.
Excellent sound quality, sustainable production, a Foo Fighters’ support and charitable benefits–do you need any better reasons to buy this technology?
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