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Mobile Accessories

Would you wear this muzzle around the office for private calling?

A new accessory called Bloxvox muffles your phone conversations in an open office. Just don't share it.

Bloxvox in hands-free mode.

Screenshot by David Carnoy/CNET

Back in January of 2017 I discovered a product at CES called HushMe that I described as "the weirdest, yet most useful wireless headphone ever created." It was a voice muffling contraption that that kept people around you from hearing your phone conversations.

HushMe seemed pretty unique but it now has competition. Bloxvox, a new "voice privacy tool," has made its debut on Kickstarter and the entrepreneur behind it, Greg Umhoefer, says it's better than HushMe.

It's also different. First, it's more compact. Second, it's designed to work with your existing headphones that have an inline microphone, which tucks into a slit in the Bloxvox.

Yes, it sounds weird, and I'm not going to spend any more time explaining it because the best way to understand it is to watch the video below. However, I will point out that there's a little air hole in the front that allows you to breathe and have some air circulate in the muzzle (this seems like an important feature).

The early bird pricing on Bloxvox is $50, which seems a little expensive, but there are some bulk options. Yes, investing in the the 100 pack brings the price down to $30 each.

Estimated delivery on the Bloxvox is this September, but as with all crowdfunding campaigns, there's no guarantee when or even if the product will ship. In other words, don't blame me for delays or if you never receive the thing (or your order of 100). The HushMe does not appear to have shipped yet, but this seems simpler to manufacture since it doesn't have any electronics.

To be clear, I haven't tried Bloxvox yet, I'm just writing about its debut. Proceed at your own risk. And feel to comment on whether you think it's a good idea -- or not.