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Split earbuds do away with tangled cords, Bluetooth

The Split Kickstarter project combines compact earbuds with stand-alone audio players and an unusual method for keeping them in sync.

Split earbuds
Split are an audio player and earbuds in one.
Greenwing Audio

Earbuds have long had a way of tying us down, whether through tangled cords, behind-the-head connectors, or Bluetooth requirements. The Split earbuds on Kickstarter are looking to do away with all that fuss.

Split from Greenwing Audio works by acting as a stand-alone audio player, kind of like miniaturizing and shoving an iPod Nano in your ears. A tiny crystal clock in each earbud synchronizes the music without the need for a wired or wireless connection.

It's aimed at athletes, people who are concerned about being exposed to wireless signals, and pretty much anyone who's sick of dealing with cords, but doesn't want to deal with Bluetooth.

Greenwing Audio is trying to raise $435,000, which looks like a long shot. Part of that is probably due to the standalone nature of the device. It won't interface with your existing smartphone or audio player. You have to load your music onto it, and the $155 device only holds 256MB.

What we have here is a nifty concept with a whole lot of "ifs" attached. Greenwing Audio is very open about the device being in the early prototype phase and that the hardware and software design challenges could cause anything ranging from delays to a downgrade in product performance. It's refreshingly honest, but it doesn't do much to inspire handing $155 over.