About this project
"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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Image shown with rubber stabilizers:
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)
- 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.
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.
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.
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?
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:Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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