'Headphones' and 'Backphones' the Wave of the Future"'Headphones' and 'backphones' are for the new generation, earphones for the old generation."
Earphones are disappearing. Instead, headphones and backphones (headphones worn around the back of the neck) are becoming tremendously popular.
"Backphones are cooler, and besides, they ensure that no matter how loud the music is, it won't hurt your ears," said Park Sang-hyun, 16. Backphones appeal to the new generation which consider fashion and practicality equally important.
In Eletronicland 21 in Yongsan about 500 pairs of earphones were sold in April. However, 2,200 pairs of headphones and 1,400 pairs of backphones were sold in the same time period.
The new generation says loud music, like heavy metal or techno music, is best for headphones and backphones. Backphones are especially popular because they resemble singers' backphone-style microphones. They also do not dishevel listeners' hair.
Lee Jong-hyun, marketing manager for Starmart (www.starmart.co.kr), explains that "earphones can be dangerous because they put pressure on the inner ear; headphones do not damage the ear in this manner, thus are much healthier."
by Choi Ji-young