The Linx helmet: Safer, earphone-less music for cyclists

The flagship product of Coros lets you listen to music without covering your ears.

It is a multi-funtional helmet that conducts soundwaves through your cheekbones, bypassing the eardrum completely. The Linx serves as a safer alternative for people who ride bicycles and want to enjoy music or phone connectivity during transit.

The Linx helmet works with two smooth discs that rest on the upper cheakbones of the wearer. The device translates soundwaves into vibrations which are sent through the user’s bone structure to the inner ears.

Audio is thus delivered interiorly rather than via external speakers. One’s ears are left uncovered and free to keep sensory awareness – a crucial safety feature, since wearing earbuds while cycling can be a dangerous distraction since it is restrictive to sensing surrounding traffic conditions.

The helmet works with a small, ‘smart’ remote that can be mounted on the handlebars of the bicycle. The remote pairs up with the user’s smartphone and is the main control interface of the Linx helmet’s various functions. It allows the user to select songs and adjust volume. Vocal prompts can be composed to help navigation on the go.

It can be used to answer phone calls hands-free (with help from a built-in, wind-resistant microphone). The helmet can also be configured to alarm your next of kin on your behalf, should the Linx’s G-sensor pick up significant impact (indicating a possible collision).

Adele Peters of Fast Co. describes her own experience of the Linx helmet: “As I tried the helmet out, the sound was tinnier than the noise-canceling Bose earbuds I wear at home. But riding with a soundtrack was fun - and I could still perfectly hear everything on the road.”

Linx’s smartphone app adds additional features such as recorded trip statistics, distance, pace and approximate calories burned after each ride. The application of the Linx helmet is wide enough to appeal to both hardcore, marathon-riding cyclists as well as more casual cycling commuters – and anyone would benefit from the earphone-less audio design.

Coros is currently gathering funds on Kickstarter even though the design of the Linx helmet has been completed. The technology underwent rigorous safety testing during development. Coros plans to start shipping the Linx internationally as soon as the crowdfunding phase has run its course. View Coros Cycling's video on the Linx helmet below for more information.

More on Design Thinking