by Al Sacco

Gadget from Sanyo, NS-ELEX Makes Ears “Talk” Into Mobile Phones

Dec 19, 20072 mins
Data Center

Isn’t technology grand? Japanese consumer electronics behemoth Sanyo and another lesser-known electronics manufacturer called NS-ELEX have created a mobile phone headset that goes in one ear and not only delivers sound from callers on the other end of the line, but picks up users’ voices as well, cutting out ambient noise in the process.

The device may be the world’s first in-ear microphones meant for consumer use, according to

Called the e-Mimi-Kun (rough translation: “good ear boy”), the in-ear gadget sends conversations into users ears and picks up their words via a small microphone that taps the Eustachian tube, or auditory tube, within the ear, according to the article.

The in-ear mic connects to a small box that looks like a slim pack of cigarettes, which boosts the sound levels of conversations coming in from both sides of the call and cuts the external noise users hear to a tenth of what they normally would, according to the Agence France-Presse (AFP). The earpiece itself can also reduce such ambient noise by a factor of six, AFP reports.

The e-Mimi-Kun is available in two models: one that links to your phone using the standard 1/8-inch jack and another that connects via Bluetooth. The devices will retail for roughly $350 and $530, respectively.

The ear piece could be particularly useful to folks who work or play in noisy environments like construction or factory workers and lowly cubicle-bound journalists like myself who can’t even seem to record a telephone interview without catching the sentiments of every passerby. (I even use an in-ear microphone, but that’s a whole other story…) And it would probably be a good idea to tote a plug for the free ear to block out sound on the unoccupied side.

There are images of the gadgets within each of the above mentioned stories should you want to take a peek, but for now you’ll only be able to use your eyes to do so.