When Toronto-based Domio Sports launched its first product in 2016, it was because it had a unique solution to a tricky problem — the discomfort and potential danger of using headphones or earbuds while wearing a helmet.
The original Domio mounts on to the back of a helmet (think of the larger, ear-covering kinds used for motorcycling or extreme sports) and provides sound within the helmet by sending micro-vibration pulses into the shell of the helmet creating a “dome of audio.”
The benefits of this are comfort — nothing poking or squashing your ears — and also safety, as the design allows for the free flow of outside sound.
Now, Domio has upped the ante with Domio Pro, which improves on sound quality and adds voice controls courtesy of a noise-cancelling ‘Air Mic’ that’s mounted on the side of the helmet and communicates with the top-mounted Domio Pro.
The Domio Pro is currently available fir about $182 CAD on Kickstarter, with an estimated November 2018 delivery.
Verdict: tentatively sticky.
In my experience, audio headsets that use micro-vibrations or bone-conduction technology sacrifice on sound quality quite a bit in order to provide comfort and exterior sound. I’ve yet to try out the Domio, but it’d be interesting to see just how clear and loud the sound comes through, something that would be a necessity on, say, a noisy motorcycle.
However, giving it the benefit of the doubt, I’d also note that for many people, the pay-off between sound quality and comfort is worth it — and I’m one of those people. I don’t have a motorcycle or a penchant for extreme sports, but if I did, I think I’d love something like the Domio Pro, especially now that it’s hands-free. The idea, at the very least, makes perfect sense: adding comfortable sound to large, heavy helmets. Can’t argue with that.
Note: This post is part of an ongoing series titled Sticky or Not in which News and Telecom Editor Rose Behar analyzes new and often bizarre gadgets, rating them sticky (good) or not (bad).