So you just bought a flashy pair of headphones, and you’re worried that your hoodie might prevent you from flaunting your new gear. Are you stuck? Not if you pick up Betabrand’s upcoming Audio Engineer jacket. Its hood is made of the same “acoustically transparent” fabric you’d find in a nice set of speakers, letting any sound pass through while keeping your noggin relatively dry and warm. There are also holes for your headphone cables or portable audio gear, and you’ll even find a diagram to help you make any wiring permanent.
Wearing a hoodie and listening to music with large headphones are two things that do not always go together, but one company believes it’s solved that problem. San Francisco-based Betabrand has come up with a new hooded jacket that uses “acoustically transparent fabric” to let sound pass through unabated, meaning you can show off your cans to the world and actually hear them too. As it turns out, the idea behind the jacket is not about making headphones an external style accessory, and instead about allowing sound to come through while the hood is up — even if you’re wearing headphones. “For engineers that work with bands on tour, who generally want to be as inconspicuous as possible when adjusting things on a live stage, wearing black is key, hence all the blacked-out trim and fabric selections,” explains Steven Wheeler, a designer at Betabrand, who also came up with the company’s NASA-inspired down jacket. Wheeler worked with Nic Pope, an audio engineer at Different Fur Studios in San Francisco, to come up with this particular design. Wheeler says the material the pair ended up using is simply “high-end speaker fabric,” which is more commonly used to cover the front of custom-made speaker cabinets in order to let sound, but not dust pass through.