We've spent countless hours with DJs and producers in studios, clubs, house parties and even a bus - making sure our product vision met the exact needs of the people using it.
While refining the product we have gone through rigorous test sessions using our prototypes with incredibly talented turntablists like 2018 DMC US Supremacy Winner DJ Toltech and legendary 1996 DMC World Champion DJ Noize.
In designing the Natus One we have used as few parts as possible and selected tough materials all with the focus of enhancing durability.
Series 5000 Aircraft Grade Aluminimum make up the main body parts of the transmitter / receiver as well as the charge dock, ensuring that the Natus One will stand up to any rough treatments it might get during those late night music sessions.
Finally, all the buttons are made so that they are easy to find and operate, but requires enough force that they don't accidentally get pressed.
"We have aimed at a design that is as anonymous as possible because we feel that the product should really play an anonymous role"
We have already secured a trusted production partner for the Natus One. The choice fell on an experienced Taiwanese vendor with production facilities in Southern China who we've been working closely with during the design phase to minimize any surprises or issues that could emerge when going from prototyping to the final product.
Our partner has a long track record in production of wireless consumer electronics products and produces for many big international brands and as such we're very confident both in the quality that we'll be able to deliver but also the timeline from funding to shipping out the Natus One to all of our backers.
From my experience successfully delivering consumer electronics, I know that it is important that this partnership is very tight, and from having worked together for more than seven years on various products together, we trust that Natus One will be in very good hands.
Introducing the Founder: Tino Soelberg
Natus One is developed and run almost singlehandedly by Tino Soelberg. Tino has developed consumer electronics products for more than 15 years and on the side he has been a hobby DJ and music producer for more than 30 years.
He is the CTO at SteelSeries where he and his team create award winning high performance computer gaming accessories such as wireless headsets, controllers, mice and keyboards. Natus One is is own passion project, that he runs in a spin-off from the SteelSeries innovation lab.
"Natus One is his own passion project..."
He is the inventor on more than 25 issued patents and has helped bring many multimillion dollar products to life.
In his career in product development he has done just about everything; from industrial design, over electronics and mechanical engineering to firmware and software development. He has spent a lot of time at production sites in China and worked with development teams all over USA and Asia.
He is an avid tech geek and has published open source projects related to things like racing quad-copters as well as some fun gaming hardware hacking.
He is 45 years old, from Copenhagen, Denmark, but has lived with his girlfriend in Chicago the last couple of years - and most importantly he is the father of Emma (almost 20) and Albert (14).
Oh.. and did we mention that he is a DJ himself? 30 years and counting!
When you receive your Natus One you will get the following:
- Power and Audio Dock
- 3.5mm Male to Male Audio Connector
- Belt Clip
- USB charge cable
- Instruction guide
- (lots of love from us <3 )
Low latency is key for any type of music application - every DJ or musician has to be on beat, always! Natus One's 16ms latency is equivalent to 1/30th of the time between beats in a 125 bpm track! This is why it is unnoticeable by DJs and performers.
DJs and home studio users typically use very high end headphones so audio quality is absolutely essential. This is why Natus One's wireless connection uses no compression of the audio whatsoever - the music needs to sound exactly like it came out of the headphone output of your mixer.
Because Natus One is a wireless system it naturally needs to be battery powered. It was important to us that the capacity was big enough that you don't have to remember to charge it for each session. This is why we chose a battery large enough to support 24 hours of playtime - thats 24 hours of continuous playtime at 80% volume!
Natus One uses a dual antenna system which always selects the antenna that has the best signal. This selection is done many times per second and is part of why the range is more than 30ft/10m - and it also works great through things like dry wall.
Natus One is built to work with a wide range of headphones. It will easily drive typical DJ and home studio headphones with an impedance of 30 to 80 ohm with a very decent sound pressure of 110dB.
Natus One uses standard mini jack / 3.5mm / 1/8 inch female connectors for audio. It comes with a small 40mm flexible male-male connector suitable for most equipment, but any mini jack cable will work. Charging is done in the power and audio dock, or through a female micro USB connector in both transmitter and receiver.
Power and audio dock
Natus One comes with a dock that lives on your table. You use the dock to charge your transmitter and receiver, and if you have a fixed setup (like at home or in a studio) you can just keep the transmitter in the dock while in use, and even plug your audio cable into the back of the dock instead of into the transmitter. This will give you a cleaner setup in some situations.
Is one receiver not enough?
If you need more than one receiver you're in luck! Natus One supports up to three receivers connected to a single transmitter. This can come in handy if you are playing back to back DJ sets or if you are more than one person working on a track in the studio. Additional receivers will be available for purchase when the main campaign has been funded.
The status LED on the transmitter and receiver units gives you a quick status overview; It shows whether the units are connected, charging or running low on power.
Transmitter and Receiver measure 63mm x 88mm x 7mm / 2.5" x 3.5" x 0.25"
53g / 1.9oz
Tell me more about the tech!
If you're like us, you would be really curious to understand a little more about the technology powering Natus One, so let us try to give a little deep dive into how we achieve such an incredible performance level;
Natus One is based on a very robust and well proven technology platform which is essentially built to transmit audio as data using radio frequencies in the 2.4GHz spectrum. It has been used in devices like wireless speakers, soundbars and gaming headsets, and has shipped in millions (yes millions) of units.
It is the most interference-resistant 2.4GHz technology available and it transmits uncompressed audio in 48kHz/16-bit PCM form with no audible interference. Although the unlicensed 2.4GHz band is crowded with Wi-Fi and other wireless technologies, we work within that band because it’s the only globally available band in the unlicensed ISM (industrial, scientific and medical bands), and we of course want Natus One to be a global product.
To deliver audio over the air with as little interference as possible, we combine dynamic frequency selection, intended to ensure a clear channel is always used, with multiple error-correction technologies that don’t cause dropouts and don’t require the use of latency-inducing buffering;
To transmit over one of 40 possible 2MHz-wide channels, we first scan the spectrum when turned on, find a clear channel and then we stay on it. We continuously scan the entire spectrum, and once we see any interference on the current channel, we hop to another clear channel already selected in advance from the scanning sequence. That differs from other frequency hopping techniques that continuously hop between a fixed set of frequencies. When they hop into a bad channel, they avoid that channel in the future, but that technique doesn’t always work well because it doesn’t always stay in a channel long enough to know if there really is a problem.
Also to prevent interference, we use two separate antenna systems on both the transmit and receive sides and automatically switch between the two to deliver the best signal.
If interference occurs despite these precautions, we use forward error correction and other techniques to avoid the dropouts and latency problems created by data-oriented technologies such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, which resend data packets that are not received;
Resending lost data is fine (and needed) for pure data applications, but can create interruptions in audio as well as noise clicks and pops. Retransmitting lost data would also require the use of a memory buffer that would add a high amount of latency, which would render the product useless for audio applications.
Instead of retransmitting lost data into a buffer, we use two techniques similar to those used in the Redbook-CD standard to prevent audio-signal dropouts: forward error correction and interpolation. To prevent distortion resulting from short bursts of interference, forward error correction techniques send redundant data. To overcome very rare longer burst of interference, we can conceal the error by filling in, or interpolating, lost data, as does the Redbook CD standard. As a result, the technology easily overcomes up to 6ms interference bursts, which can be caused by turning on a microwave oven.
The result is high-quality audio over interference-free channels, sampled and streamed uncompressed at 48kHz/16-bit PCM. Thats even slightly better than CD’s 44.1kHz/16-bit PCM standard. Other wireless technologies compresses audio signal - in two different ways;
Other digital systems such as Bluetooth employs lossy data compression using technologies such as aptX, AAC, SBC or even MP3 before sending over the air. This is easily detectable and takes away crucial details in music
The other type of compression is on analog radio system such as most professional wireless IEM systems. In order for them to be able to transmit over FM they cut gain at a certain level which leaves your beautiful sine waves more like square waves. FM also introduces noise/hiss on top of your signal which intensifies the further you get away from the transmitter.
"Natus One uses no compression whatsoever, and because it is a digital system we do not have any FM noise/hiss"
To reduce the chances of interfering with other 2.4GHz products in a home, our solution dynamically raises and lowers power output as the distance between transmitter and receiver changes. Dynamic power output also improves our battery efficiency.
The battery is a 1000mAh Li-ion rechargeable battery and at 80% volume that gives us ~24 hours of continuous use and finally the amplifiers are designed to drive headphones between 30 - 80 Ohm and have an output of 100mW at 100 Ohms load.
"Most of the technology is compressed into a single chip on the board which makes the product and production very stable, and with all those facts there was no doubt in our minds about which technology to use"