It's bloody cold outside at the moment (at the time of writing in February) and that means that the majority of times you head outside you'll be wanting a hat. But what if that hat featured a couple of speakers and a slot for your MP3 player? That's the idea behind the Aerial 7 Sound Disk Beanie hat that promises to keep your noggin warm while keeping you entertained through the in-built speakers.
It's not the first beanie to come with speakers, and while some will question the need to have a set of speakers in a hat in the first place we can see the reasoning - if not just to get rid of the need for wires dangling around your neck.
The beanie itself comes in an array of colours - we got the green and dark blue strip knitted affair with a red cotton lining. Tucked in the lining are two compartments for the accompanying slim speakers that sit over your ears.
Within the design is a cable, which is attached to the speakers at the factory, works its way from the inside to the outside and a small pouch that is just the right size for an Apple iPod Shuffle (2nd generation).
The idea is that you can clip on your iPod and away you go without the hassle of dangling headphones. For those who don't have an iPod shuffle there is a second cable in the box that allows the cable to be extended down to a pocket and your iPhone/iPod or other MP3 player of choice however that does bring back the problem of dangling wires.
An alternative solution would have been to make the speakers Bluetooth-enabled and therefore able to connect to any device rather than just those with a 3.5mm jack.
The hat is comfortable to wear and the speakers are surprisingly good. Yes they get slightly muddy and tinny at high levels, but for a pair of speakers in a hat they do as well as you would expect; coping with all the music we could throw at them (jazz, dance, rock, punk).
If you're after a wire free solution for your iPod Shuffle or mini MP3 player the beanie hat will do just that and keep you warm at the same time. However, you have to ask yourself how hard is it really to wear a pair of headphones with a cord dangling down into a pocket? If the answer is not so hard, then these won't be for you.