Koss introduces headphones that work over WiFi

CREATED Apr 30, 2012

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MILWAUKEE - Koss Corporation has been in the news a lot lately for all the wrong reasons.  Today, it's in the news for a headphone related innovation.  In fact, it appears to have reinvented the wheel, at least when it comes to headphones.

The company is out with something call the Koss STRIVA.  They are headphones that get their signal directly from the Internet.  They have no wires.

"People have complained constantly about wires.  We've always wanted to get rid of wires.  We've been trying to get rid of wires since the 70's," Michael Koss said.  It appears he's finally done it.

The system works in several ways.

First, you can use it without the Internet.  The headphones come with something called the content access point or CAP.  You can plug the CAP into your iPod or computer just like you would plug in headphones.  The CAP will stream directly to the headphones.

The CAP also performs a nifty second trick.  If it's near an Internet connection, it will stream whatever is playing into it directly to the Internet.  That means as long as your headphones are near an Internet connection, you can listen to what's playing anywhere in the world.  In other words, you could press play on your iPod at home in Milwaukee and listen to the stream in New York.

The third way the system works is through a server set up by Koss.  You can use the server to send any existing Internet stream directly to your headphones.

One drawback right now is that the system only works over WiFi Internet.  That means you'll likely have to log in to multiple different routers if you want to move around.  Once you do, it will always work.  But it's a lot of set up.

In addition, the headphones aren't cheap.  They start at $450.

For Koss, the innovation comes at a special time for the company.  "60 years ago this month, my father and mother received $200 as a wedding gift from my grandparents to buy a living room set.  Instead my father convinced my mother to start a business with it.  Here we are 60 years later and we're starting another revolution," Koss said.

Here's the official Koss video about the headphone system: