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$14,879
pledged of $110,000pledged of $110,000 goal
81
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 19 2013 11:51 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated December 20, 2013

AudioNoggin - Headphones for the Athlete in Each of Us

Personal bluetooth headphones designed for the athlete in all of us. Grab a pair and join the Earvolution.

AudioNoggin - Headphones for the Athlete in Each of Us

Personal bluetooth headphones designed for the athlete in all of us. Grab a pair and join the Earvolution.

$14,879
pledged of $110,000pledged of $110,000 goal
81
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Thu, December 19 2013 11:51 PM UTC +00:00
Last updated December 20, 2013

About

AudioNoggin – The Ultimate Wireless Headphones for the Athlete in Each of Us 

Use your noggin and say hasta la vista to the era of the painfully imperfect earbud. No more jamming hard bits of plastic into your ears just so you can enjoy music while you run. The Noggin has arrived with music, conversation, and the harmony of the world around us never sounding better.

We at AudioNoggin have had enough of the status quo. It’s time to free your ears from the oppression of the buds. It’s time for an Earvolution and AudioNoggin’s patented technology is leading the way.

What is AudioNoggin and how did the Earvolution start? 

The Noggin was specifically designed for active people and does not rely on direct contact with your ears. Like all great revolutions, AudioNoggin’s story started when we contemplated a simple question: “What would happen if earbuds didn’t have to go inside your ear?” This modest question led us to develop “The Noggin,” a small device that quickly and securely clips to your cap positioning an ultra thin high-fidelity speaker over each ear. Because the speakers aren’t inside your ears, the speakers can’t fall out, your ears will never hurt, and you can enjoy your surroundings while still listening to your music.

What does it sound like? 

It really is something you have to experience to appreciate. The music surrounds you much like listening to music in your car. When compared to earbuds, The Noggin delivers a more comfortable and natural listening experience while also allowing you to tune in to the world around you. Once you use your Noggin you will never go back to earbuds.

Of course, this wouldn’t be an Earvolution if we connected The Noggin to your smartphone with a nasty wire. It’s time to leave that tangled mess of spaghetti back in the ‘80s. The Noggin connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth because spaghetti belongs on your plate not on your run.

In an ideal world no one would ever call when we are enjoying our athletic endeavors, but occasionally it happens. To minimize these annoyances, The Noggin has a built-in microphone so you can pick up your call without dropping your pace.

What makes The Noggin special? 

The Noggin delivers affordable quality, great sound and versatility. Whether used while working out or working in the office, The Noggin’s lightweight, ear bud-free design is the perfect audio accessory.

You don’t have to be a professional athlete to enjoy The Noggin.

The funny thing is that although we set out to build the ultimate headphones for runners, we discovered that we use our Noggins for so much more. They are versatile and equally at home when used on a hike or when just relaxing by the pool.

The Evolution of an Earvolution 

Of course an Earvolution doesn’t happen overnight. It has been 18 months in the making with a never-ending cycle of meetings, concepts, designs, prototypes, testing and refinements only to repeat the cycle again and again.

Version 1 - Amy 

After validating the basic electronic design on the workbench we set about building the first working prototype and called it Amy. The circuit board had plenty of extra space and included a provision for a wired connection. The battery was much too large and heavy and the arms were made of a spare bit of wire. Amy might not have been much to look at but she worked and she worked well. In fact, she lives today mounted to a bicycle helmet seeing weekly use on the road with our founder Ron.

Version 2 Betty 

We knew that we were on to something good but realized that the entire system had to fit into a smaller package. Removing the 3.5mm aux connector allowed us to shrink the circuit board and switching to a smaller battery reduced both size and weight. We also tested our first rectangular speakers mounted in a revised housing. The wires for the control buttons and speakers were replaced with Rigid-Flex and the electronics were heat shrinked to a thin stainless steel band. 

Version 3 - Cindy

After logging some miles with Betty a few more necessary improvements became apparent.  With Cindy we moved the buttons that controll volume and track from their current location on the side of the arm to a position that allowed the user to squeeze them instead of pushing them into their skull. We also needed something stronger than the Velcro we were using to attach the previous prototypes to our caps. With most of the major hurdles behind us it seemed like time to wrap all of our hard work into a more attractive package.

Version 4 - Dena

 Although Cindy was a big success, she was still a little rough around the edges. We learned that the speaker arms would work best if they were flexible but not floppy. This also allowed us to perfectly blend the electronics and speaker housings into one streamlined design. The edges were softened, details were refined and the result was Dena. We introduced Dena to runners and asked for feedback. Based on their feedback we are ready to send Dena into production with just a few minor adjustments.  

AudioNoggin Team

Ron Johnson – Founder - Ron received his MBA from the University of Southern California where he graduated Beta Gama Sigma (business honors).  He has extensive experience in the packaged food industry as well as start-up experience in Internet retailing. He is a nationally ranked age group triathlete and competed in the 2013 USA Triathlon Age Group National Championship. His high level of involvement in endurance sports provides firsthand insight to the active sports market.

Eric Bozza - Eric has 20 years of experience selling consumer electronics to large distributors throughout the United States. Previously Eric was Director of Business Development at Altec Lansing as well as Senior Vice President of Sales at Plantronics.   

Robin Wills - Robin is a multi-disciplinary engineer who specializes in hardware and software development of micro-controller based systems. Robin has pioneered new LED technology, developed firmware for flagship fuel-cell systems, and developed the transmission control unit for the $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron hypercar. With 15 years of experience, Robin is skilled at finding out-of-the-box solutions for leading-edge products.

Seth Astle - Seth graduated with honors from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California with a BS in Product Design.  His work has been honored with the James Dyson Award and IDSA Gold Award.  Seth has several years of experience in body-centric products that include sports and medicine. His passion for running, cycling, and the outdoors has expanded his understanding of the needs and wants of sports enthusiasts.

Sam Eigenbrodt – Sam (Susan Marie) graduated from San Francisco State University with a BA in Journalism. As a former newspaper journalist turned communications exec, she has more than two decades of experience in corporate branding, messaging and strategy for a diverse group of companies, including Perry Ellis International. As an adventure sports lover, she can’t wait to take The Noggin for her second rim-to-rim run across the Grand Canyon.  

The Road Ahead

Bringing a new product to market is never simple. Issues always arise and often from unforeseen places. Rest assured your team at AudioNoggin is prepared and able to find ways through the tough spots. Together we possess all the necessary skills to overcome any obstacle. We will be relentless in our effort to deliver you one of the first Noggins off the manufacturing line and as part of the team you will receive weekly updates so you can experience the journey first hand.  This is your chance to be part of the Earvolution.

Production Plan

We are working with a mold engineer in Southern California who will use our Solidworks file as the basis for the tooling required for injection molding. The tooling and finished plastics will be produced in Asia by an injection-molding specialist. The PCB and required wiring harnesses will also be produced in Asia by reputable suppliers. These materials will be shipped to Los Angeles where our manufacturer partner will build the boards on their pick-and-place machinery as well as assemble the finish product. Our manufacturing partner builds mission critical products for military and commercial applications. They have assured us our product will be assembled efficiently and effectively. There may be a less expensive way to do this, but we believe this is the right way.

Risks and challenges

All new products have their challenges. We have worked through the majority of major issues with the previous prototypes. However, there are still plenty of details that need to be cleaned up before we can ship a Noggin to your door. The most noteworthy are:

1) Transitioning the design from 3D printed plastic to injection molding. Fortunately, both Robin and Seth have extensive experience in this area and we have a mold engineer just waiting to get to work on our design, as well as an injection-molding partner in Asia who is prepared to supply the plastic. Nonetheless, this still takes time and product details may change slightly to accommodate limitations of injection molding.

2) We have been through several versions of the PCB in previous prototypes and we are planning on making one final version for the production unit. We do not foresee any issues with this, but it is still an area we are making final adjustments to.

3) The Noggin, like most consumer electronics, involves people, parts, and processes located in multiple countries and speaking diverse native languages. This fact alone can lead to unforeseen and unintended delays and setbacks. All of this is part and parcel to the ever shrinking world we all live in.

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    HURRICANE POINT SUPPORTER
    (California’s Big Sur International Marathon)

    Every Hurricane Point supporter will be listed on the AudioNoggin website with a big shout out of thanks to one and all. In addition, each supporter receives a link to download an original AudioNoggin desktop background image.

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    GALLOWS LANE SUPPORTER
    (Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills Road Race) Each contributor receives an AudioNoggin “Start the Earvolution” Hat.

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    DIAMOND HEAD AVENUE SUPPORTER
    (Hawaii’s Honolulu Marathon) Each Diamond Head Avenue supporter receives an AudioNoggin Earvolution Performance T-shirt.

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    Pledge $69 or more About $69

    HOSPITAL HILL SUPPORTER
    (Kansas City’s Hospital Hill Half-Marathon Run) Revel in your own personal Noggin offered at the lowest Kickstarter campaign pricepoint!

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    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    CARDIAC HILL SUPPORTER
    (Atlanta’s Peachtree Road Race) If you missed HOSPITAL HILL, it’s not too late to revel in your own personal Noggin for a great rate.

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    MT. WASHINGTON AUTO ROAD SUPPORTER
    (Gorham, New Hampshire's Road Race) If you missed CARDIAC HILL, you can still be one of the lucky supporters to get a personal Noggin for a great rate.

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    Pledge $139 or more About $139

    DOOMSDAY HILL SUPPORTER
    (Spokane’s Lilac Bloomsday Run) Receive your very own Noggin and know that you helped fund an Earvolution.

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    QUEENSBORO BRIDGE SUPPORTER (The NYC Marathon) Hit the pavement as a proud Earvolution athlete wearing a Noggin hat and listening to your favorite tunes on your new Noggin.

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    Pledge $155 or more About $155

    HAYES STREET HILL SUPPORTER
    (San Francisco’s Bay to Breakers) Receive your own Noggin plus a T-shirt and hat and you will be ready to climb mountains fully prepared as a founding member of the Earvolution.

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    HEARTBREAK HILL SUPPORTER (Boston Marathon) Receive a Noggin plus a limited edition hat and T-shirt signed by the AudioNoggin team.

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    Pledge $399 or more About $399

    SILVER SUPPORTER - Receive a Noggin plus a signed limited edition T-shirt and signed hat along with a personal thank you phone call from AudioNoggin founder Ron Johnson.

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    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    GOLD SUPPORTER - Pledge to the Earvolution at the gold level and receive a Noggin plus a signed limited edition T-shirt and hat. Better yet enjoy a run or ride with our founder in Southern California. This getaway includes lunch, dinner, domestic airfare, 1 night at a luxury hotel and a bag full of AudioNoggin swag.

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Funding period

- (30 days)