Kiwi Start-Up Earshots Named in TIME Best Inventions for 2022


Kiwi start-up Earshots, which makes the world’s first sports headphones with a patented ‘EarWrap’ system, has been globally recognised on TIME’s list of best inventions for 2022, with its unique product included as one of the most extraordinary innovations changing lives.

TIME has described Earshots as a ‘small company from the bottom of the world’ innovating in a category dominated by billion-dollar budgets. Earshots has been included in the design category alongside the likes of NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope. They also follow in the footsteps of Allbirds, another Kiwi company previously recognised by TIME for its global leadership in design.


Founded and designed by athlete and adventurer James Bell-Booth, Earshots are wireless sports headphones with an ‘EarWrap’ system that keeps them in place no matter the activity. They also rotate up to 40 degrees to cater for different ear shapes. Bell-Booth originally came up with the idea eight years ago while training for the T42 adventure race in the Tongariro National Park, and becoming frustrated by earphones falling out, being dislodged and needing to be adjusted.

Designed to withstand moisture, sweat and all kinds of activity while staying in place using a unique magnetic clip, Earshots are now in the ears of cyclists, runners, athletes, and active people all over the world. Bell-Booth says being included in the TIME list reflects that what they’ve developed is globally unique and world class.


“There’s been a huge amount of effort and support from a lot of people to get Earshots to where it is today, and for this effort to be recognised as being up there amongst the best is fantastic for our team.


“When I first started the journey, it was to solve a problem I had myself – however I quickly recognised many others had the same issue. When I saw their reaction to our prototypes and early-stage design it was easy to see there was a gap in the market and a clear business opportunity, even amongst a category dominated by large companies with substantial budgets,” he says.

The new generation Earshots were released earlier this year, winning rave reviews and building on a global customer base spanning New Zealand, Europe, USA and South America. Bell-Booth says they’re looking to build even more momentum following the TIME recognition.


“We want to be the best sports earphone in the world. We are assessing how we can become fully circular across all aspects of our business; but at our core we want to inspire people to get out there, explore and move, and engage in physical activity and improve their wellbeing”.




Earshots was nominated anonymously for inclusion in the TIME best inventions, where special attention was paid to growing fields such as the electric vehicle industry, green energy, and the Metaverse. TIME evaluated each contender on a number of key factors, including originality, efficacy, ambition, and impact.

Of the new list, TIME’s editors write: “The result is a list of 200 groundbreaking inventions (and 50 special mention inventions) – including life-mapping artificial intelligence, diamonds made from excess carbon in the air, and the most powerful telescope ever – that are changing how we live, work, play, and think about what’s possible”.

To see Earshots on the TIME list visit

For the complete TIME list of best inventions 2022 visit

About Earshots

Established in 2014 by athlete and adventurer James Bell-Booth, Earshots makes the world’s first sports headphones with a patented EarWrap system, which holds them in place during biking, running and all physical activity, no matter how strenuous. Earshots are moisture and sweat resistant and always stay neatly and comfortably in place providing perfectly balanced audio no matter where the adventure takes their user.

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