If you are the sort of user that doesn't like using headsets then this new jacket might be the kind of product you are looking for. Japanese company Goldwin has announced a series of products with built-in amplifier and a flat panel speaker system.
The series includes different models of snowboard jackets and a backpack. Prices vary from US$300 for the backpack to US$625 for one of the jackets.
Users can connect any flash memory or hard disc based mp3 player, CD player or other sound source through a stereo jack. The sound output is through flat panel speakers which the company says provide high directivity with clear sound. The fact that the sound mixes with the background noise is an advantage according to the company, making it more "natural".
The system also supports mobile phones through a built-in microphone. There is also a remote control available.
The products should be in the Japanese market by end of July 2005.