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Industry first micro driver, true-wireless, waterproof earphones w/ patents pending and design that's received the 2015 Red Dot Award.
Industry first micro driver, true-wireless, waterproof earphones w/ patents pending and design that's received the 2015 Red Dot Award.
Industry first micro driver, true-wireless, waterproof earphones w/ patents pending and design that's received the 2015 Red Dot Award.
1,602 backers pledged $500,846 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Apollo 7 - World's Most Compact True Wireless Earphones

$500,846

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"Unlike most of the backers, I was fortunate enough to actually use these headphones on the CES Asia show floor. Fear not, backers: they’re beautiful, they really work, and they sound pretty good (which is more than we were able to say about the Bragi Dash)." David Kender, Reviewed.com

"For such a small pair of wireless earbuds to produce such a well-rounded sound is an astonishing feat and partly reflected in the relatively high price tag. There are earphones that sound as good for less money but I can't think of any that offer the wire-free experience with such poise and style." - Forbes

“The Apollos feel solidly built, are incredibly small and light, and sound pretty good for their size.” - The Verge · 

 “Listening to music and chatting on phone calls is a lot like using everyday headphones in the best way possible.” - TechRadar ·

 “The earbuds may look small, but there’s a ton of tech inside of them.” - Digital Trends · 

 “Certainly one of the more fun aspects of the revolution has been the increasing availability and quality of Bluetooth headphones...If the upcoming Apollo 7 is a gauge, they’re certainly something to look forward to.” - Gizmag · 

 “Then there’s Apollo 7…they may just be the best pair of wireless earbuds on the market..” - TechoBuffalo

True-Wireless Audio - A fairly new category, which many companies have been struggling for some time to bring to market. The problem has been the extreme difficulty in achieving simultaneous synchronization between left and right channels while avoiding sound dropouts and signal interruptions. Here at Erato Audio Technology Ltd., we've spent the last decade perfecting this technology, with the result being 4 proprietary developments that are now patent pending. Considering these accomplishments along with the 2015 Red Dot Award for design, we now believe that we are well poised to proudly bring to market our newest creation - the amazing Apollo 7.

 

Apollo 7 by Erato Audio  is the world’s most compact, true-wireless earphone system that also includes a built-in omnidirectional microphone. While traditional earphones can be great in many ways due to their small, compact, size and quality sound, they all have one major drawback – wires. Annoying, cumbersome WIRES!!!

Traditional High Performance Earphones
Traditional High Performance Earphones

Technology has progressed over the last decade at astonishing speed and Bluetooth wireless technology has been one of the most evolving categories to-date in the consumer electronics market. The main issue with all of the other “so-called” wireless Bluetooth earphones is that in reality, they ALL still require the use of wires to connect between one earpiece and the other.

Current High Performance Bluetooth Earphones
Current High Performance Bluetooth Earphones

Here at Erato Audio, we're dedicated to bringing you a genuine, true-wireless experience. We have made it our mission to deliver the most compact, true-wireless stereo earphones that money can buy, while also addressing the many other shortcomings that commonly plague the majority of wireless earphones in general.

Actor Cody Walker shown with Apollo 7
Actor Cody Walker shown with Apollo 7

Now you can finally enjoy balanced sound without the constant hassle of tangling wires or dropped music. You’ll hear the deepest of lows to the cleanest of highs and full stereo sound without a single wire in sight. Our team has been diligently working with CSR to create the most advanced, Bluetooth 4.1 true-wireless earphones with full audio support for AptX, AAC, and SBC codecs.

Mike Klaso, President of Menlo Scientific, an audio consulting firm that designs audio components and electronics for companies such as Monster, Beats, BlueAnt, and more, talks about platform shifting, which is a common issue in many true wireless earphones and does not appear in the Apollo 7.

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Apollo 7 features a newly developed, industry-first micro-driver designed to satisfy even the most demanding audio purist. Three distinctive advantages include

  • A proprietary composite driver diaphragm specifically engineered to ensure solid authoritative bass performance that smoothly transitions up through the clearest of midrange regions and on to highs of amazing crystalline clarity and transparency.
  •  Apollo 7’s advanced driver motor-structure. Comprised at its heart of a powerful neodymium magnet for achieving extreme high efficiency, music can be loud while bass remains strong, and yet battery life remains astonishingly long-lived.
  • Apollo 7 exhibits a very smooth frequency response that's extremely articulate and maintains low distortion levels from the sub 20Hz region to well beyond 20kHz.
Apollo 7 Frequency Response
Apollo 7 Frequency Response

 

 

The Design Team Leader of Erato Audio, Tom Tsai, has a history of designing award-winning products. While the design for Apollo 7 received the 2015 Red Dot Honourable Mention Award, Tom has also designed more than 10 other award-winning products in the last few years. Among these awards include the Red Dot Award (Germany), the iF Award (Germany), the Good Design Award (Japan), and the Computex D&I Award (Taiwan). As a sign of Tom’s commitment to excellence, Apollo 7 has gone through over 9 revisions before becoming the present reality.

A number of different designs were created until the final version was complete and ultimately won the Red Dot Honorable Mention Award
A number of different designs were created until the final version was complete and ultimately won the Red Dot Honorable Mention Award

 

Handmade sample units we brought to MWC2016 Barcelona and attendees were asked for their feedback
Handmade sample units we brought to MWC2016 Barcelona and attendees were asked for their feedback

 

Apollo 7 Design won the 2015 Honourable Mention Red Dot Award
Apollo 7 Design won the 2015 Honourable Mention Red Dot Award

In order to be considered for a Red Dot Design Award, products must go though the highest standards of evaluation across strict criteria comprising the judging process. Such criteria include: innovation, ergonomics, functionality, durability, quality, ecological compatibility, product periphery, and even symbolic and emotional content. As a 2015 Red Dot Design Honourable Mention recipient, you can be certain that we've done our research and made something truly extraordinary.

Minimalistic footprint yet advanced features and sound.
Minimalistic footprint yet advanced features and sound.

Apollo 7 comes standard in 4 different colors, Silver, Gold, Grey, and Rose gold, with a very limited Kickstarter Satin Black Edition. The Kickstarter edition will come with standard accessories, but will be only limited to 200 units globally. 

Apollo 7 comes in 4 colors: Liquid Silver, Luscious Gold, Mystic Grey, or Rose Gold
Apollo 7 comes in 4 colors: Liquid Silver, Luscious Gold, Mystic Grey, or Rose Gold

 

Satin Black Limited Kickstarter Edition
Satin Black Limited Kickstarter Edition

 

Charging case is powerful, yet compact for everyday carry.
Charging case is powerful, yet compact for everyday carry.

 

Without useful functions, a global design award is pretty much only good for bragging rights. Fortunately,  Apollo 7 is able to deliver functions that really matter. With 4 patent-pending functions, the Apollo 7 also claims the first patent-pending, 360-Degree charging circuit capable of allowing users to insert the earpieces into their dedicated charging case for “charge on the go” convenience.

Patent Pending 360-Degree Charging Circuit Design
Patent Pending 360-Degree Charging Circuit Design

Elegantly stored in an aluminum housing that doubles as a stylish travel case, the charging unit has the ability to recharge the Apollo 7 earphones twice before needing to be recharged again itself. The sleek case is includes a simple, one-finger open glide design and is button-free in that it will recharge the earphones whenever they are merely docked within, and then automatically shut off when charging is complete.

1-Finger easy slide opening / closing
1-Finger easy slide opening / closing

Lightweight. That's the one word we would use to describe the feel of the earphones in your hands. Either right or left, either Apollo 7 earphone can become the master unit and then paired with the other to deliver full stereo sound. Each earphone weighs just 4 grams, which is actually lighter than 2 US Dimes.

Voice Recognition. Apollo 7 works with both Siri and Google Now. Activate it anytime, anywhere.  

Single Button Design. With a single button you can answer and hang up phone calls, play music, skip tracks, or even change volume easily by tapping, holding, or double-tapping on the button. This intuitive design allows for a minimal footprint, making the Apollo 7 the most compact true-wireless earphones on the market today.

Microphone. Unlike most other similar sized earphones on the market today, we integrated a MEMS omnidirectional microphone with an input sensitivity of -42dB (+/- 2dB). This allows for crisp, clear phone calls on demand.

Waterproof.  Apollo 7 is waterproof. It's coated with a special nano-coating technology that enables the earphones to work even after being submerged in water. Simply wipe dry and you're ready to continue listening to your tunes. You have the freedom of using it under virtually any weather conditions.

Sweatproof / waterproof - perfect for fitness in any weather condition.
Sweatproof / waterproof - perfect for fitness in any weather condition.

Accessories. The accessories kit comes standard with 3 sets of rubber tips, and 3 sets of Comply Foam Tips: Isolation T-600 (Small, Medium, Large), totaling 6 sets of sizes and feel.  It also comes with 3 sets of sport stabilizers to fit different size ears. This ensures the best fit and feel for each individual.  Additional Comply Foam Tips can also be purchase from Comply directly for further needs. 

Apollo 7 Accessories kit comes with 3 rubber sizes (S M L) and 3 Compy foam tips and also 3 sport stabilizers to fit ears of all sizes.
Apollo 7 Accessories kit comes with 3 rubber sizes (S M L) and 3 Compy foam tips and also 3 sport stabilizers to fit ears of all sizes.

 Image shown with rubber stabilizers: 

Photo Credit: Reviewed.com / David Kender
Photo Credit: Reviewed.com / David Kender

Sound Isolation. Comply Foam Tips seals ear canal from environmental distractions with heat activated memory foam that expands to unique ear canal shape, creating a custom secure fit.

Comply Foam Tip Specifications: 
Small / Medium / Large:
10.67 mm ± 0.65 mm (0.420" ± 0.025")
Diameter at proximal end (end attaching to device): Small: 10.67 mm ± 0.50 mm (0.420" ± 0.020") Medium: 12.45 mm ± 0.50 mm (0.490" ± 0.020") Large: 13.97 mm ± 0.50 mm (0.550" ± 0.020")
Materials: Polyurethane foam, thermoplastic elastomer (all RoHS compliant)

Image from Comply Foam Tip Website of the T-600
Image from Comply Foam Tip Website of the T-600

 

 

  • Bluetooth Profile: Bluetooth 4.1 with A2DP 1.2, AVRCP 1.4, HFP 1.6, HSP 1.2 Support
  • Supported Audio Codecs: Full support for aptX, AAC, and SBC codecs.
  • Driver Specifications: Driver Size: Ø 5.8 mm Micro Driver, 100 dB/mW Sensitivity. 
  • Frequency: 20Hz ~ 20KHz Impedance (Ohm) @ 1hHz: 16 
  • Microphone: MEMS Omni Directional Type input sensitivity at -42dB (+/- 2dB) 
  • Dimensions: Earphone: 15.4mm x 22.2mm Charging Case: 62.5mm x 40mm x 25.5mm
  • Weight: Earphone: 4g x 2, Case: 52g 
  • Waterproof: Nano coating on the Apollo 7 allows it to be waterproof.
Comparison chart between today's true wireless category
Comparison chart between today's true wireless category

 

Erato Wireless Audio Technology LTD owns TM (Taiwan Microelectronics), an advanced audio IC design house. (http://www.taiwanmicro.com.tw) TM holds a very competitive place in the RF IC field and was crucial in developing Apollo 7's wireless audio technology. The team at Erato Wireless Audio Technology has vast experience in developing successful wireless products. Having held executive positions at WYSE, Viewsonic, Vivitek (formerly Luxeon), and ADATA Technology Co., Ltd., Michael Chiu, President of Erato Audio Technology USA, has more than 20 years of experience in manufacturing and business management for the consumer electronics industry.  

Working together, Michael and Randall Lan founded Erato Wireless Audio Technology in 2015. As cofounder, Randall is focused on RF circuit design research in Silicon Valley and previously founded Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit (MMIC) design house in 2003. He specializes in the use of Pseudomorphic High Electron Mobility Transistor (PHEMT) technology in the design of various of RF Switches, as well as a plethora of Multi-Chip Module (MCM) applications in wireless communication systems and system-in-package (SiP) design. 

Combining Michael and Randall's wireless signal experience along with the direction of Bob Smith, Erato's Senior Audio Engineer, we were able to create the Apollo 7. Bob's background in electronics, audio design and electro-acoustics is extensive, and begins with his assisting in the development the world's first 40KW audio amplifier based on Switching Technology in the 1990s. In the early 2000s Bob then launched SP Technology Loudspeakers, Inc., and a bit later, Aether Audio. Both companies developed world-class loudspeaker lines comprising various models ranging from under $3,000 to over $50,000 per pair.

While working under the banner of Aether Audio, Bob’s obsession for all things audio also led him to direct his focus on the mysteries surrounding the controversial subject of audio cables. His research first resulted in a provocative white paper and ultimately, a novel device based on somewhat exotic “electron-spin alignment” theory. This curious creation of “covert” technology was shown to actually ameliorate the negative effects of audio cables, so in a bit of jest Bob called it the “Black Box.” Starting in 2009 he then moved on to work with NuForce, Inc., a premium audio headphone and amplifier manufacturer. Together they developed the Black Box technology into a product marketed by NuForce and renamed the “The Magic Cube.” Thereafter Bob also designed several popular NuForce loudspeaker systems including the S1, SX, S8, and S9. Following those designs he was then commissioned to work out the complex issues involved in developing a linear-phase crossover, which became the heart of the highly acclaimed Quad-driver, Balanced Armature (BA) headphones that NuForce continues to market.

In addition to all the above, Erato Audio is also working side by side with Mavin Technology, a leading manufacturer of wireless audio products sold globally.  

From a combination of experienced manufacturing, supply chain management, wireless technology and core audio technology, we're confident that Erato Audio has what it takes to be the premier manufacture of audio products both now and in the future. 

It took over 1.5 years to get to where we are today. We've invested large sums in the research and development of the Apollo 7, and now have clearly achieved proof of concept. Recently, we've even debuted the product at MWC 2016 (Mobile World Conference) to showcase the design and get some additional input on its performance and sound. Since then we've made a few significant changes to the final sound based on the opinions of listeners that were attending the show from all around the world.

Attendees of MWC 2016 Barcelona testing the Apollo 7 and providing feedback
Attendees of MWC 2016 Barcelona testing the Apollo 7 and providing feedback

 

Erato Audio's Apollo 7 at MWC 2016 Barcelona few months ago gathering feedback from attendees
Erato Audio's Apollo 7 at MWC 2016 Barcelona few months ago gathering feedback from attendees

Within the last 6 months we ran a pilot-production run of 50 pairs of the Apollo 7. These were individually assembled and then adjusted to have slightly different tunings among the 50 pair. They were then used to gather feedback from a group of specially selected beta-testers in order to make final determination with regards to their various equalization settings. This ultimately allowed us to fine tune our production run of the Apollo 7 earphones with great confidence that they will easily meet and exceed the expectations of the larger headphone buying public. 

Pilot run of 50 pairs of Apollo 7 were sent out and each earphone was individually loaded with different EQ settings while we gathered information from our beta-testers.
Pilot run of 50 pairs of Apollo 7 were sent out and each earphone was individually loaded with different EQ settings while we gathered information from our beta-testers.

After all of the above, the Apollo 7 is now finally ready for you guys. We've paid for our initial production tooling and have already started a small batch, but we need your help to determine what colors to finish them in. That's where you guys come in! Pledge now to help us allocate colors and finalize our production!

We planned a 30 day campaign to keep things simple and easy. First batch of orders will ship in mid to late June 2016 after we confirm the color and your shipping addresses.  From the funds we raise, we will be able to finalize the 2nd batch and ship in July 2016.   

What do I get? 

All packages come with full accessories package that includes charging cable, tips, and case.
All packages come with full accessories package that includes charging cable, tips, and case.

 

 

Risks and challenges

As mentioned above, we have spent the last decade perfecting the technology and the last year designing and prepping for production. We've already created tons of prototypes and tested numerous earphones with beta-testers and now we are finally ready to launch.

All certifications have been applied and received as well as patents are already filed and pending.

Working side by side with our factory partners regarding production capabilities and timeframes. We were able to establish production capabilities for the next 2-3 months. As you can see in our rewards, we've segmented 500 of each color deliverable in June, and the rest in July up to 2500 a color, then more deliverable no later than September if we reach that stage.

From experiences working at executive positions at Adata Technology, Vivitek, and Viewsonic with global distribution chains, we are very well aware of supply chain management, and abilities to implement expansion plans if required to increase production.

Here at Erato Audio Technology Ltd., we are a team of 30 employees with decades of combined experience. From the last 3 months of pre-production manufacturing, we have been able to eliminate most of the manufacturing hiccups to prevent any delay in delivery time. We got you covered.

You can also reach us one of 3 ways:

hello@eratolife.com for general inquiries
sales@eratolife.com for sales and product related questions
help@eratolife.com for support related questions

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    Super Early Bird (Limited to 500)
    Apollo 7 with your choice from one of four colors: Gold, Silver, Grey, Rose Gold. Comes with a full accessories package!

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    Retail Apollo 7 - Gold Color with full accessories package.

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    Early Bird Rose Gold (Limited to 500)
    Retail Apollo 7 - Rose Gold Color with full accessories package.

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    Kickstarter Limited Edition (Limited to 200)
    Apollo 7 in limited edition Satin Black with Green Logo and full accessories package. Only 200 made globally and recipients will receive a $50 Credit towards a purchase of another color Apollo 7 after the campaign finishes.

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    Apollo 7 Silver
    Silver Color with full accessories package.
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    Apollo 7 Grey
    Grey Color with full accessories package.
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    Apollo 7 Gold
    Gold Color with full accessories package.
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    Apollo 7 Rose Gold
    Rose Gold Color with full accessories package.
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    Two is better than one.
    Receive 2 Apollo 7s in the colors of your choice (chosen after end of campaign) with combined shipping - Free shipping on the 2nd unit!

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    Corporate Package
    Receive 10 x Apollo 7 Earphones with Accessories at the color of your choice for you and your team. (Bulk Priced at $250 each).

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Funding period

- (30 days)