About this project
Traditional headphones are painful because they create pressure and generate heat. They’re also subtractive, in that they take you out of your environment, which makes communication difficult and awkward.VIE SHAIR’s 3D molded air frame design floats the speaker just off your ear, and is extremely comfortable to wear. You can wear it with less stress and no sweat. It also allows you to interact with your environment while listening to your audio. When you want privacy, the open air frame easily converts to a closed air frame.
VIE is Bluetooth enabled. Its core audio technology comes from Yamaha’s advanced MACH-5 codec, and the large, directional flat speakers provide superior sound quality. It can also broadcast audio to an unlimited number of VIE headsets.
It’s a pain-free, safer and more social headphone.
"No more pinched ears or sweaty lobes — just a great pair of ‘phones you can rock for hours, discomfort-free!" - Digital Trends
"The Vie Shair wireless headphones use an "open air" design that cups around your ear without strongly pressing against it, while still promising strong sound quality and minimal audio leakage for anyone around you." - Stuff
"Comfort-wise, the headphones delivered on Vie's promise, and feel oddly refreshing to wear compared to my regular over-ear headphones I have on all day at work." - Mashable
"The Vie Shair headphones feature a unique air frame that relieves pressure on the ears while permitting more environmental awareness." - Gizmag
"The no-pinch headphones we’ve been waiting for!" - ChipChick
The air frame is convertible, which means that the user can switch between open air and closed air listening depending on their environment and listening situation. Both frames are designed with your comfort in mind.
VIE’s open air frame makes minimal skin contact and permits airflow, making them comfortable and sweat-free, even while exercising. You’ll stay in touch with your surroundings, and will notice when people approach or want to talk with you. And, without removing your headphones or adjusting your audio, you can carry on a normal conversation.
For times when you want to be undisturbed or eliminate unwanted noise, you can swap out the open air frame for the closed air frame. Instant concentration. Instant privacy. Instant peace and quiet.
Are you an eyeglass wearer?
VIE SHAIR fits well when wearing eyeglasses or sunglasses. As glass-wearers ourselves, we have found that VIE is more comfortable than typical over-the-ear headphones on the market (which squash your ear with the frame of the glasses). VIE’s open and closed air frames apply minimal pressure. Also, our closed airframe has a soft cushion around its edges. This prevents slippage against the arms of your glasses, and minimizes impact on the passive noise cancellation.
Enjoy open air, pain-free sound while watching TV or gaming (comfortably!) for hours on end, without disturbing others around you. Hear when your family calls, even with your headphones on. Share video or game audio with your friends using the broadcast function. Wirelessly hook up to audio gadgets, or use the 3.5mm audio input.
Comfortably listen to your favorite tunes or podcast for extended periods of time, without causing ear fatigue. Wear the open air frame to ensure you never miss a call from your boss. Or, switch to the closed air frame for reduced ambient noise and improved concentration.
Say goodbye to ill-fitting earbuds and sweaty headphones. VIE is a great solution for active living. The open air frame reduces stress with limited skin contact and lets air circulate freely. Share music and get in tune with a workout buddy. VIE is a safer headphone, because you can hear the outside world while you’re running, biking or exercising. The LED lights add extra visibility for night runs.
Enjoy a live DJ set in a unique atmosphere. Pump up the bass with the 3-band equalizer. Set the volume to your personal comfort level, and still be able to start a conversation with that interesting person across the floor. Interact with a venue full of people – with music and lights in perfect harmony.
VIE SHAIR creates new ways to listen to and share your audio. Waiting for your boarding call? Want your children to hear when you call for dinner? Performing a home gig? Taking an ambient yoga session? The ways VIE can fit into your lifestyle are endless.
Special Use Case for Musicians
Our founder, Yazz, is a jazz drummer. He recommends VIE SHAIR for musicians, and explains why in this video:
Find out how our COO Andrew uses VIE SHAIR at home. Can you relate to this scenario?
VIE brings you the best sound with its unique combination of cutting-edge speaker technology and an advanced audio codec by Yamaha.
Traditional headphones use dynamic speakers, which vibrate a cone or dome diaphragm to create sound waves. The cone or dome is glued on the edges and moved by passing a current through a coil of wires to repel magnets in the speaker. This motion creates sound waves. VIE uses planar magnetic speakers. In these speakers, instead of having a separate diaphragm and electric coil to move the diaphragm, the whole diaphragm is made of a printed circuit on a thin film, suspended in a uniform magnetic field. When electricity is passed through the film, the entire film vibrates in the magnetic field to create sound waves. This provides dramatic improvements over traditional dynamic speakers.
- Whole sound — Because dynamic speakers lock the diaphragm in place at the edges by the glue fixing it to its container, the diaphragm can only partially move around the edges, which causes the sound to become distorted (especially at higher tones or volumes). Planar magnetic speakers deliver 100% vibration across the entire film, providing a fuller sound.
- Crisp and accurate — By combining the wires and the diaphragm into a single thin film, planar magnetic speakers have a much lighter membrane, which responds more quickly to changes in the audio. This makes for more life-like sound for things with a fast start or finish, like fingers snapping or a snare drum hit.
- Lower power use — The printed circuits in a planar magnetic speaker requires less energy to drive than the wire coils in a dynamic speaker, which helps your battery last longer.
- Durable — Dynamic speakers wear down over time, due to the heavier diaphragm and glue which ages. Planar magnetic speakers keep the same beautiful sound profile over time.
Traditional dynamic over-ear speakers usually have drivers in the 30-53mm range, because larger sizes cause the surface of the diaphragm to physically change shape at high frequencies and produce distortions. VIE’s 60mm planar magnetic drivers are able to use 100% of a larger driver surface without distortion thanks to the planar design, which keeps its shape out to the very edge of the driver. This larger speaker increases the quality of the sound the headphones deliver and reduces audio leakage, so that only you can hear your audio.
Noise Leakage Level of the open air frame
Thanks to VIE's directional flat speaker, our open air design would create the noise leakage no more than the ordinary closed headphone. Our founder Yazz is demonstrating in the video.
VIE deploys Yamaha’s high spec MACH-5 audio module. MACH-5 is one of Yamaha’s most advanced codecs and provides high quality audio and many of the headphone’s unique functions.
- Hi-Fi Audio (THD+N 0.008%), Ultra Low Noise HP
- 4 Channel Input/Output
- Music Enhancer (3-band Equalizer, Harmonic Enhancer, 2-5-2 surroundings, Multi-band Dynamic Range Compression)
To make sure you hear your music the way you want to, VIE has an on-board 3-band equalizer that works with all your music apps. It allows you to customize the sound to your own personal taste, or opt for one of the preset profiles including hip hop, rock, dance and jazz.
Want to share in the experience? Wirelessly broadcast audio from your headphones to other VIE SHAIR headphones. By setting the “on air” mode, you can broadcast to an unlimited number of people within a 100ft (30m) range. And when you want to join into the broadcasters audio, just set your headphones to receive.
- Hi-Fi stereo sound quality
- Wireless digital audio transmission in 2.4GHz ISM band
- TX/RX switch for transmitting and receiving
- Optional app control for transmitting and receiving
- Unlimited number of receivers
- 100ft (30m) transmission
- Automatic adaptive frequency mechanism selects best available frequency
- Low latency (<12.5 milliseconds)
The VIE smartphone app is designed for iPhone and Android and brings additional functions to your fingertips.
Audio Broadcasting and Pairing Process
- Share your audio with friends
- Connect with virtually any number of VIE headsets within a 100ft (30m) radius
3-Band Equalizer Settings
- Choose from multiple preset genre profiles
- Design a sound experience to fit your personal musical taste
LED Light Control
- For nighttime fun, set the LEDs to glow in your choice of five colors
Or, leave your phone at home...
- VIE can connect to other devices with Bluetooth or by 3.5mm jack.
- Broadcasting or receiving from other VIE headsets can be enabled by using the Transmitter / Receiver switch and pairing button on the headset.
Your wearable tech shouldn’t have to compromise on style. VIE is designed for the person whose fashion sense is in line with their musical tastes. From the 3D frame to five full-color LED lights, these sleek, futuristic headphones look as cool as they sound.
VIE balances form and function so you can finally ditch your bulky headphones and get the most out of your music.
(New!) more color options
In addition to honoring our initial promises to backers, we’re excited to announce our campaign’s first stretch goal!
$200,000 - Comes with Microphone
We've received many requests from you to incorporate a microphone in our headphone design. Upon careful consideration, and many discussions with our partner, our headphones come with the 3.5mm audio cable with an inline microphone you can plug in and use for your phone calls and chat, if we're able to reach $200,000 in funding.
Through our crowdfunding campaign, we hope to raise $150K. We’ve spent 1.5 years developing and refining prototypes of VIE. We’re confident in our design and need your help to pass the finish line. Funds raised will be allocated to creating tooling and molding for manufacturing and final production to bring our vision to life.
Kickstarter is a community of passionate people who come together with creators to bring new and innovative products to life. Without the support and feedback of such a community, we won’t be able to achieve our goal. Our vision isn’t only to make a great piece of technology, but to build something that greatly benefits you and seamlessly merges with your lifestyle. Please join us on the final stage of our journey to bring VIE to your hands.
The VIE crew is a team of music and tech lovers with a passion for music and innovation. We believe in simplicity, integrity, and love. We live these core values every day, which is evident in our design skills and product development.
Our vision is to become the top brand for fostering happy, music-filled lifestyles. On our journey so far, we’ve gained support from powerful global partners, such as Yamaha and Stratasys, who have generously offered to contribute resources to ensure we meet our Kickstarter commitments.
The idea first came to Yazz after reading an article about an “Electric Run” event. The participating runners wore glowing headbands, which looked a lot like headphones. Yazz thought it would be a great idea to create a visually stunning headphone that allowed users to broadcast and share music, made it easy to carry on a conversation while listening, and wasn’t hot or painful to wear. He set out to create VIE SHAIR - a more comfortable, social headphone.
As Yazz talked with his designer friend, Hiro, about the idea of a new design for headphones, Hiro realized that in order to become more comfortable, headphones had to be lifted off the ear. They made their first prototype using velcro bands, two binder clips, two free standing small speakers, and two green kitchen sink filters.
After a year and a half of countless prototypes and refining of our original model, we have the final design and technology. We hope you enjoy wearing VIE SHAIR as much as we do.
TOKYO CREW Yukai Engineering, Prototype Engineering // Homei, Prototype Mockup // Artist Design, Prototype Mockup // Gokohatsujo, Prototype Mockup // SWANY, Prototype Mockup // KAMACON VALLEY, Accelerator // Zenmono, Consultant // Sabae City, Development Consultant
LOS ANGELES CREW Dustin Downing, Videographer // Ryan Carnes, Actor // Michelle Van Der Water, Actress // Dameon Guess, Jak Prints // Rob Figarola, Daily Unsigned // Peter Evans + Bradley Kohn - "Something's Up" Artists // Kim Macedo, "Only Me And You" Artist // Kosha Dillz + Ski Beatz, " Half A World Away" Artists
+ Everyone who helped out as extras in our video (you were awesome!)
ISRAEL CREW Jellop, Online Advertising Agency
@ KICKSTARTER, for helping us speed up innovation and design for the future!
Help us spread the word!
We will ship worldwide. Our rates vary based on your location and the quantity of VIE headphones you are ordering. Please note that shipping to any country outside of United States, Canada, United Kingdom, European Union, and Japan may be delayed or cancelled depending on the feasibility of local product approval requirements or local import regulations. In the event of a cancellation, we’ll refund your pledge. There may be additional duties, fees or taxes charged by the the authorities in your country which will be covered at your expense when receiving the shipment.
Risks and challenges
We have finalized our product design, and it’s ready for mass production. We have a preliminary agreement with our partner and manufacturer who has many years of experience creating high spec audio equipment. That said, there is always the small chance that unexpected changes or issues may arise during execution, resulting in delays or cancellation. In the event of cancellation, we’ll refund your pledge.
Delays or cancellation may arise from: A change in specifications (requested by the operator), or execution by the factory which causes a significant cost increase; Feasibility of local product approval requirements or local import regulations; The event of a natural disaster, such as an earthquake or tsunami.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes, VIE has Bluetooth audio 4.2 with aptX® codec. Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) is used to control the headphone settings.
VIE will work with any device that has Bluetooth, or 3.5mm audio jack capability. An iPhone or Android smartphone is required to download the app, and in turn change the default equalizer settings and LEDs. All other functionality is available without a smartphone.
In Bluetooth audio and receiver mode, the battery lasts for approximately 8 hours. In transmitter mode for broadcasting, it lasts about 4 hours.
Via micro USB cable.
Charging takes 2-3 hours.
Our prototype weighs 270g. The final production is expected to be lighter.
Yes, it’s fully adjustable.
To keep the cost down and preserve the design, a microphone is not included.
The open air frame is the web-like, geometric structure that holds the speakers off your ear, extremely comfortable, creates no heat or pressure on your ears, and you can hear sounds around you.
The open air frame is made with nylon, which is strong, light, flexible and safe for your skin. It’s the same type of material used in many eyeglass frames.
The open air frame is sturdy and was designed to handle normal usage without losing its shape.
Yes, the open air frame, which encircles the ear and allows air flow, is very comfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The open air frame comes in one standard size which is designed to fit most ears. In the unlikely event that it doesn’t fit, we’ll happily provide a larger size frame on request.
When you want to concentrate on something or mute the sounds around you, just switch the open air frame for a closed air frame, changing to passive noise cancellation.
The open air frame can be easily be exchanged. Twist the frame counterclockwise to remove it, and then insert the desired frame.
These will be available on our website at http://www.vie.style/.
When set to broadcast mode, you can share music with other VIE headphones. VIE uses Bluetooth to receive audio from its source (ex: smartphone, TV, PC, etc.), but not to broadcast.
We use a 2.4 Ghz proprietary protocol for broadcasting.
Broadcasting can be initiated by setting the Transmitter / Receiver switch on the headset or by using the controls in the iPhone or Android app.
Receiving can either be done with the Transmitter / Receiver switch on the headset, or by selecting the broadcast you want to receive on the iPhone or Android app.
Broadcasting and receiving has less than 12.5mm sec of latency, which is more responsive than Bluetooth.
In normal areas, the audio can broadcast 100ft (30m) radio distance. Like other radio broadcasts, the exact distance depends on the environment. In general, sharing will provide a similar distance to other Wi-Fi broadcasts.
The audio will cut out intermittently (the module searches for another frequency when the receptions gets weak). When out of range, the audio will cut out completely.
Even with the open air frame, the flat directional speaker limits noise leakage. The noise leakage is lower than most headphones.
The planar magnetic flat speakers produce amazing sound, and Yamaha’s advanced audio module with an on-board 3-band equalizer is available to set the headphone sound character.
The 3-band equalizer is embedded within the headphone and affects all sounds that are produced. Using the app, you can set the character of sound to your musical taste with one of the preset genre profiles, such as rock, hip hop, dance and jazz.
The closed air frame provides passive noise cancelling.
The VIE app controls settings for the headphones including pairing, 3-band equalizer and LED color.
The app will be available on Android and iOS.
Yazz (Founder) has a strong music background. He is a jazz musician and worked in the music industry for many years. He’s worked in an executive capacity at a major game company and in a Silicon Valley startup. Andrew (Sales & Operations) has worked at a major record company, filled executive roles in many industries such as IT, Health, Beverage, etc. Hiro, (Design) has worked for a major Japanese consumer electronic company as an industrial designer and has won global awards such as the iF award, Good Design Awards, and more. Nobu (Engineering) has extensive experience working as a software engineer in tech startups.
We’re a Japanese startup based in Tokyo.
Our partner/manufacturer is a Japanese audio maker who has considerable experience producing audio equipment. The factory for production is based in China.
Unfortunately we cannot accept returns from Kickstarter purchases. We will, however, repair or replace defective units at no cost to you. Thanks for your understanding.
Kickstarter uses their own payment processor and we’re unable to accept PayPal. If you’re having persistent problems checking out, please send us a private message and we'll do our best to help you sort it out!
Provided we’re able to reach our Kickstarter funding goal, your credit card will be charged after April 29th, 2016 when the campaign ends.
Shipping varies depending on your location and the quantity of VIE headphones you are ordering.
An email including a survey link will be sent within a few weeks after the Kickstarter campaign has ended. In that survey we’ll ask you to fill out your shipping information.
An email including a survey link will be sent within a few weeks after the Kickstarter campaign has ended. In that survey we’ll ask you to choose which headphone color (black or white), and open air frame color (if applicable) you would like to purchase.
When signed in, click on the “Manage My Pledge” button you see at the top right of the project page. Adjust your pledge and follow the on-screen instructions. Please send us a private message to confirm your change.
Taxes, VAT and/or duties aren’t included in the prices and may be added in accordance with your local regulations. These must be paid by you on delivery.
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