Bone conduction MP3 player in a grill

Last December, Aisen Caro Chacin released this "Play-A-Grill," a homemade hip-hop grill with a built-in MP3 player that conveys sound via bone conduction. I love the idea: they should issue 'em to the Secret Service instead of those goofy corkscrew earpieces.

Play-A-Grill is the combination of a digital music player and the mouth piece jewelry usually associated with Hip Hop and Rap music genres known as a grill. Grills are almost always made of precious metal, most notably gold or platinum. They are completely removable, and almost used as a retainer. This piece of jewelry presents a perfect opportunity to merge an arbitrary music fashion object and reintroduce it as the music player itself. Because the grill is worn over the teeth, sound can be transmitted using bone conduction hearing instead of outside speakers or headphones. Play-A-Grill is an iteration of a music fashion object of that becomes the music player itself.

Play-A-Grill (via JWZ)


  1. “issue ’em to the Secret Service instead of those goofy corkscrew earpieces.” Wouldn’t that make it harder for them to shout “GET DOWN!!!! “?

      1. Dude- that was awesome, thank you. Haven’t seen any EBN in quite a while. Gotta go watch more… f’n Dan Rather is the shit…

  2. it was my understanding that “fronts” are removable and “grills” are permanent, but memory is not the best.  before Cash Money Click popularized diamond dental-work,  “grill” just meant “face;” and still does, depending on context.  one may have one’s original teeth and be correct in saying “this asshole was all up in my grill,” but I have digressed.

  3. Its wrong to glue these into those morons who drive around with their thumpa thumpa music shaking the neighborhood, set to playback polkas right?

  4. In John Shirley’s SF novel “Eclipse”, from 1985, he wrote about a genre called “bone music”.  Fans of bone music used skull implants to listen to it properly.

  5. WHY? Only thing stupider would be if they made an anal suppository that transmitted music. Actually, that would be more apt for anyone that wanted this thing.

    1. So your unfamiliar with those items you hook up to your iThingy or smartphone meant for insertion…

      1.  Thankfully, as a true Luddite, I have no smart phones so I have managed to remain mercifully shielded from such information. My dumb phone is quite small, though; I suppose insertion isn’t out of the question for those interested. Something I never even would have thought of before this article.

        1. I’m pretty sure the description of True Luddite cannot refer to oneself on the internet, unless you are here to unleash a crippling malware on us all that will cause our devices to explode in our pants. I’m on a laptop, I almost never put it in my pants.

          1.  I’m not an orthodox Luddite; I’m a reform Luddite. We’re allowed to use computers and the internet in a simplistic way, as long as we don’t really understand it or know what we’re doing.

    2.  The thought of putting anything electric right up against my teeth doesn’t seem like a good idea.

  6.  Bone conduction hearing aids have been around for many many years.  It would have made more sense to hook up an MP3 player to a bone conduction hearing aid.

  7.  This is great. I’d love to see a self-contained version without the mouth-wire.The tongue controlled switch also makes this a good piece of adaptive tech for those without the use of their hands.  Also, those of a certain age might remember the Bone Fone, a pre-walkman bone-conduction personal stereo that hung around your neck like a scarf, and conducted into your clavicles. It was a very odd sensation.

    1.  Right? Forget the hip hop angle, this would be a perfect way to listen to music while I swim (and those waterproof MP3 players are hit or miss at best.)

  8. Because the people who wear grills don’t enunciate poorly enough as it is. They need to try to speak with an MP3 player stuck to the roof of their mouth.

  9. And anyone, anywhere who had to wear a retainer as a child (myself included) says, “Um…no.”  But enjoy the opportunity to drool on yourself AND your mp3 player.

  10. Would these work for deaf people. Would they be able to “hear” and recognize sound waves through their bones?

    1. Depends on the person and their cause of deafness. If they didn’t have cochlear damage or other developmental issues* which was the source of their deafness, then most likely yes (though as mentioned above, bone-conducting hearing aids already exist and those who would choose to use them already can, including for music). For others, no, because the part of the ear that translates air vibrations (the cochlea or other neural pathways between that and the brain) is damaged or missing* and thus bone conductivity still would not stimulate those organs and be translated into auditory experiences.

      *(The use of medically descriptive terminology is not intended to indicate superiority of being Hearing/Deaf, and is merely used to be as descriptive as possible.)

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