Mask wearing has become a big part of our social lives. As such, media consumers continue to live their lives by wearing headsets around their present-day pandemic-induced face accessories. Listening to music while mask-wearing does not lead to many issues while the two go hand in hand. However, conducting phone calls with a mask outdoors can be a different story entirely. I have seen everything from people yelling through a mask so that their headsets would pick them up to entirely giving up and completely removing their masks. Who would have thought that I would have bumped into a simple solution to this during remote CES 2021? Enter the MaskFone.
The MaskFone is a multilayered mask with an imbedded headset, supporting replaceable PM2.5 and N95 filters. The MaskFone allows you to not only enjoy media safely, but also conduct phone calls effortlessly straight from the mask.
The MaskFone comes with the MaskFone mask, three PM2.5 filters, a Motorola headset, three pairs of ear buds and hoops, a microUSB charging cable, and a carrying pouch.
Focusing on the mask itself, the MaskFone features adjustable ear straps, allowing you to set the tightness of the mask to your liking.
Whether you are using the included PM2.5 filters or the optional N95 filters, you just open out your filter and insert it into the inside of the mask. Filter replacement is as simple as it gets, where you simply slide your filter into place beneath each of the side pockets.
A Motorola headset runs through the bottom and out of the sides of the mask. You simply plop in the earbuds on each side and control your media through the outside of the mask. The headset’s controls are designed and arranged to face outward, lining the controls up with the buttons on the lower exterior of the mask. On the other side of those controls exists a mic, which faces the wearer to allow for clear communication during calls.
The headset is held in place with Velcro surfaces. Whenever you need to charge the headset, you can better access it by unfastening the Velcro to get to the microUSB port.
The MaskFone gives you straightforward and effective solution to handling media outside in a COVID world. Thanks to the mic’s placement, you can speak normally and effortlessly. Being inside of the mask gives the mic the kind of solid sound isolation you need to comfortably house phone calls outdoors.
I took the MaskFone to my local outdoor and socially distanced bar to enjoy music, videos and make a couple of calls. Call participants reported that they clearly heard me with practically no sound leaking in from nearby conversations. This was despite being outside on a somewhat busy Friday. People on the other side can immediately tell that I was wearing a mask whenever I spoke. However, this never effected the overall quality of the phone calls themselves.
The earbuds themselves were refreshingly comfortable with the default size that they sported out of the box. Not only was the fit secure, but the buds formed a solid acoustic seal which allowed me to block out most external sounds and enjoy my media.
There was a slight learning curve to handling the media controls through the mask. Alignment between the headset’s controls and the outer mask markings was never perfect. However, those same outer mask markings at least acted a guide for reaching for the buttons I wanted to press. Overall, handling became easier to manage over a short time, making music listening as carefree as it should be.
The sound quality is not bad at all for a product totaling at $49.99. You get good balanced sound, sporting good highs and lows, with mids coming just a pinch stronger than the other two ranges. With vocals being part of the mid to mid-high range, this bodes well for a product that is designed for handling masked phone calls.
Last but not least, the MaskFone plays well in the comfort department. Being able to adjust the straps to ensure that the mask is just tight enough to provide adequate protection helps here. With you in control of the tightness, you should not have a mask that is too loose or too tight. When the earbuds are not in use, you can just leave them dangling off to the sides whenever you need to. Not to mention, the MaskFone sports a simplistic and sleek look, making it an accessory that you would have no problem showing off outdoors. Most importantly, the mask itself is quite breathable, keeping the MaskFone from feeling like a chore to wear.
I will say that the mask does not lend itself to neat removing and reapplying. I speak specifically about situations where you will find yourself constantly removing and reapplying the mask for drinking or other purposes, for example. The more you shift the mask, the more you shift the filter inside the mask. The last thing you want to do is finagle the filter outdoors with potentially contaminated hands. So take care if you plan to be in a scenario when you have to move your mask often.
If you are big on both COVID protection and music listening on the go, the MaskFone is a solid purchase to make during these times. The MaskFone is a comfortable mask that offers two filter options, adequate sound quality, great call quality, and solid breathability. It is a simple solution to a simple problem, which can offer N95 protection if you want it to.
Check out the MaskFone for $49.99 for yourself here.
† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a MaskFone review unit and some stock photos for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.