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Why TED Speakers Wear Those Weird Headsets

The origins of those unmistakeable mics
Aimee Mullins on stage at TED 2014

Aimee Mullins on stage at TED 2014

Source: Ryan Lash/TED Conference/Flickr

If you want a front-row seat at TED Talks, the annual gathering of intellectual bigwigs, you’ll have to pay $8,500. Suddenly that $10,000 solid-gold Apple Watch doesn’t sound so frivolous.

If you’re not in the market for a luxury timepiece or a TED ticket, you can always wait for the edited presentations to become available online, complete with close-ups of "thought leaders" wearing those unmistakeable microphones on their heads, with a foam ball hanging like a distracting crumb at the corner of their mouths.