[CeBIT 2013] Yesterday at CeBIT, I met with Duncan C. Walsh, Founder and Director of Mi-Sport Global, the company behind the FX-Sport brand. A former professional squash player, Duncan got the idea of developing custom headphones for athletes 6 years ago.

Like no other headphones, the VR1 is sweat/humidity/rain proof and is also a Mp3 player with 8 GB of internal memory for storing music and up to 64 audio messages recorded via the desktop software provided with the device. Specifically dedicated to professional sport training, the VR1 allows to precisely record workout sessions with encouragement audio messages and music. It is basically a virtual replacement for  your personal trainer.

The software that allows to program your workout sessions with audio messages (text to speech conversion) and music segments with precise timing

Using the software, you type the sentences you want to be played back during your workout and you set the music and the timing of each exercise (see the picture). Then you download the programmed workout file via a USB cable connected from your computer to the VR1 headphones. Workout sessions can be shared with other VR1 users via the website.

The swimming kit

The VR1 can also be used during swimming sessions, thanks to the dedicated accessory made  of rubber that entirely covers the headphones. Additionally, FX-Sports provides custom earplugs that seal your ears but let the sound go through. According to Duncan C. Walsh, it is the best way to ensure that the device will not be damaged by water and provides a good audio quality, since existing water-resistant earphones from other manufacturers usually do not work so well after some time. I might have to check this claim, if you have more information about the topic, please post a comment.

The VR1 is available in the UK for £139.00 since November 2012, from the website http://www.fx-sport.co.uk, and it will be available in the US in April 2013 for $179. You will be able to buy the product from the website as well.
There is a cheaper version of the VR1, the V1, which only allows for music playback, and it will retail for $149.

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