Sound and Hearable - The next wave in wearables and Wellness tech

It's that time of year when many digital exercise and streaming platforms unveil their top song playlists. Even though it is clear that a great majority of individuals enjoy music while exercising, music - and sound - still hold unsought potential.


Sound or audio waves pounding on the eardrums modulate many brain areas involved in coordination, communication, decision-making, emotional regulation and memory. Music and sound thus have performance enhancing effects on fitness, stress management, mental acumen and emotions.

There is more to music than being a powerful social connector.

Music listeners are able to push their limits; swimming faster, running longer or pushing harder on their pedals. Up-tempo beats can increase exercisers’ intensity or improve athletes’ coordination. As such, runners have an easier time matching their strides to perfect cadence while listening to 160-180 beats (or steps) per minute songs.

On the opposite, slower tempo music can shorten recovery times and lower blood pressure and heart rate.

Music - just like subtle positive self-thoughts - distracts from pain, reduces perceived exertion, increases endurance and may even promote metabolic efficiency.


Some fitness and wellness platforms already leverage music to enhance their experience or promote their goals

  • RockMyRun syncs exercisers’ playlist to their HR and steps per minute

  • Endel uses movement, HR, location, and weather to build AI-generated playlists to promote wellness

  • Ergatta - partnering to offer rowers personalised high-energy playlist; demonstrated to increase retention and training session duration 

  • PERFORM enable users to upload their activity playlist to Strava

  • Y7 Listen + Flow yoga studio experience are centered around music

  • SleepTech companies such as Bia use soothing sound to promote restorative sleep


The recent acquisition of the Swedish full-body scan startup Neko Health by Spotify has made some noise. Gossips about what is at play behind the acquisition suggest a future in which users could obtain personalised playlists tailored to their health data, creating a seamless connection between music and well-being.

Digital mental health platforms such as Sona and SoundMind have already started offering music-based therapies to their patients. 

Taking a step further into medicine, MediMusi - a MedTech company dispensing music as a therapy - partnered with famous Abbey Road studios to use music as a tool to delay the onset of Alzheimer’s. Music indeed being an effective way to create bonds between elders and their caregivers - childhood melodies often being among the last memories taken from Alzheimer’s patients.


Beyond audible frequencies, there is a range of sounds that can elicit beneficial effects on the Human body.

Wellness Tech companies such as Tersa sound pods and AudioVitality are using proprietary frequencies - both audible and non-audible vibrations - to stimulate muscle activity and muscle contraction, promote deep neuromuscular recovery & relaxation.

There is still lots left to understand - the therapeutic value of Dolphin mating sounds responsible for Aaron Rodgers’ miraculous Achilles recovery is one such.

The next smart wearable battleground

Ears are an under exploited, but highly-promising gateway to one’s physical, mental and emotional worlds - and thus to all things wellness.

The ear lobes and the outer ear canal are easily accessible and highly vascularized & innervated areas that are less affected by motion and perfusion issues due to hypothermia - frequent causes of artifacts at the wrist and fingers.

(Outer) ears are thus a prime location for accurate PPG & LED tracking of prime metrics such as Heart Rate & variability, ECG, body temperature, blood pressure and so on.


  • Apple reading its next generation Airpods equipped with HR, ECG, body temperature earbud sensors that could maybe even track posture, gait and flag hearing loss

  • Amazfit power buds monitoring exercise HR and posture reminder

  • Miniaturized PPGs to be integrated to smart earbuds

Hearing loss, an increasingly prevalent condition in aging populations, contributes to social isolation and ranks among major risk factors for dementia.
  • Seinheiser smart hearing aids & conversation enhancer

  • At-home audiology platforms are gaining momentum and an increasing number of employee-care plans now include hearing assessments and aids 


We believe there are important gains to be made by harnessing the powers of sound and music as they unite all things wellness - from physical to mental performances, healthy aging and longevity.

  • Very few exercise platforms or fitness trackers synchronize music to users’ data, realtime. Such feature could not only be used to augment training success but could also be used to coach proper form - such as running or swimming cadence for instance. We foresee wearable devices that will listen to runners pounding on the ground or exercisers breathing to then deliver personalised insights. 

  • AI-generated music and sounds could well become the next hit offering for thriving Wellness Boutiques and help brands differentiate in this highly-competitive landscape.

As for their prime characteristics, ears - and hearables - have still not yet been fully exploited.  
  • Ears and earbuds are protected from wearable fatigue increasingly experienced by data tracking enthusiasts. Earbuds - along with the smart rings and clothing - are among the most seamless wearables out there and offer a stable ground for vitals monitoring. 

  • The market for headphones and earbuds is vast and expanding beyond $33B usd by 2026. Smart wireless hearables will gain an important wedge of that market. Smart hearables, being more practical while exercising and offering a richer experience, could even overturn GenZ's return to wired earphones.


We are polishing our crystal ball and putting the final touches on our 2024 predictions ... 

Sébastien Lacroix
Sébastien Lacroix

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