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Audiophile sound and realistic live-music feeling. Patented tactile drivers go below hearing, speed gaming reactions, intensify movies.
Audiophile sound and  live-music feeling. Tactile drivers go sub-hearing, speed gaming reactions, intensify movies.
Audiophile sound and  live-music feeling. Tactile drivers go sub-hearing, speed gaming reactions, intensify movies.
200 backers pledged $82,949 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Kannon Headphones - Deep Bass You can Feel

$82,949

200

Kannon Headphones - Deep Bass You Can Feel

Conventional headphones simply cannot do bass audio justice.  Because your body hears deep bass audio through vibrations, traditional headphones shortchange you at low frequencies.  Hearing is ultimately a physical sensation.  Out in the world you feel sound, especially at the low end. Sound waves don’t just travel in air, they travel through whatever they encounter, including your body.  A bass drop on the dance floor.  The deep thump of a drum at a concert or symphony.  A heavy truck rumbling by.  When you hear those sounds you are also feeling the combination of the physical impact of the sounds waves and the way they resonate within your body. 

The lowest frequencies – 60Hz and below – are diminished and frequently missing entirely in conventional headphones.  Even with the best audio drivers that may reproduce sound down to 30 Hz, there still seems to be something missing.  Why?  Because your body “feels” as much of the sound in that frequency range as it “hears” it.  True realism comes from being able to feel low frequencies as well as hear them. 

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Fans of bass audio – Bassheads – have been on a long, intensive search for a headphone that can truly deliver a convincing bass experience. Now that long search is over. 

 Taction Technology (TM)

Taction Technology has designed the Kannon headphones with a unique haptic driver that accurately delivers low frequency audio through vibrations, so you hear the full range of audio, complete with deep, resonating bass that is missing in conventional headphones. Each earcup in the new Taction Kannon headset has both a traditional driver and a haptic driver. The traditional driver transfers higher-frequency audio – treble and mid-tones – as well as the high end of the low-frequency spectrum. The haptic driver delivers a clean strong bass sensation down to 15 Hz, well beyond the capabilities of a traditional driver. 

Taction Haptic Driver
Taction Haptic Driver

        “Through innovations in engineering and product design Taction was able to take a good concept that had yet to be effectively realized and launch what we believe will be a market-changing product in the Taction Kannon.” 

The few attempts to use haptic technology in the past have been fairly simplistic, similar to the rumble employed in game controllers. They also lacked the power and range to render lower-frequency audio, where vibrations can have such intense impact. Even worse, these attempts at haptic drivers actually degraded the overall quality of the audio by interfering with the sound coming from the traditional magnetic driver.

      “For other brands, a haptic headphone in their lineup is little more than a marketing gimmick. At Taction, haptic is all we do, which is why the Kannon has the first haptic driver that actually improves rather than degrades audio quality in a headphone.” 

Taction’s haptic drivers have been re-thought from the ground up. 

Unlike prior market attempts at haptic audio technology, the Kannon drivers move parallel to the side of the head: the new design is planar, older designs axial. This innovation is critical because it leaves the volume of air in the ear cup unchanged, preserving the fidelity of the audio coming from the traditional driver. In addition, some nifty engineering advances allowed the team to generate 20 times more power than the few haptic drivers in the market can muster. 

 Combined these two advances allow the Taction haptic driver to deliver lower bass and more accurate fidelity across all frequencies.  

"… a masterfully accurate vibration that mirrors what you would feel in the real world." 

-- Ryan Shwayder, Basshead Club 

"...heightened degree of musical realism."..."artfully combines a traditional dynamic driver with a well-crafted, proprietary Taction haptic driver."

--Chris Martens, Hi-fi+

 The Advantages of the Taction Kannon

The Taction Kannon is designed for audio enthusiasts and headphone users who value high-quality, immersive audio when listening to music, playing video games, and watching movies. 

Music Fans:   The home audio goal for most music fans is to try and recreate the live music experience as closely as they can. The Taction Kannon builds upon an audiophile quality headphone experience with the addition of unmatched bass audio delivered by finely tuned haptic drivers to provide a music experience that you can truly feel. 

Cinephiles:  Now movie buffs can enjoy the immersive audio experience of a cineplex or home theater with a headset. The Taction Kannon lets movie watchers physically experience all the intense rumbles, bangs, growls and thunders that their favorite films have to offer. 

Gamers:  The Taction Kannon provides gamers with a unparallelled immersive audio experience. It also provides a documented competitive advantage by decreasing response times and improving spatial accuracy. The vibrations from haptic drivers have improved the response time of individuals in lab studies by an average of 60 milliseconds, which represents between and 15 percent and 40 percent improvement depending upon the individual. In addition, the physical sensation enhances the ability to distinguish left from right, improving spatial accuracy. 

Reaction Time for Audio Only vs. Haptic Feedback
Reaction Time for Audio Only vs. Haptic Feedback
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Virtual Reality:  As VR transforms from a curiosity to a mainstream reality, the industry is focused on improving the experience by enhancing realism and immersion. Taction intensifies and clarifies spatial audio, providing orientation cues that can be the difference between simulation and the sense of “being there.” 

"The Taction Kannon puts all of my basshead cans to shame … it takes the top seat on the list without contention." 

-- Ryan Shwayder, Basshead Club

Introducing the Taction Kannon

The Taction Kannon is a premium over-ear, closed-back headset with audiophile-quality sound and high-fidelity tactile reproduction. Low-frequency sounds that the body both feels and hears are rendered with unparalleled clarity. The experience is immersive, powerful and precise and unlike anything currently available on the market.  The anticipated retail price is $499 USD with a fourth-quarter 2016 launch date. 

The Taction Kannon will be available for $389 through our Kickstarter campaign, a 25 percent discount and a savings of $110 off the anticipated retail price. 

To try these headphones in person is to understand a new level of musical realism, immersion, and audio depth.  But not everyone can try them during the short span of a Kickstarter campaign.  Accordingly, we offer a 15-day unconditional money-back guarantee (buyer pays return shipping).  If you don't like them, send them back and we will refund your money, no questions asked.  

Features 

  • Removable, high-sensitivity boom microphone 
  • Noise-isolating, around-ear leather ear cushions 
  • Premium finishes and durable construction 
  • Inline control of haptic intensity, on/off switch for haptic drivers, and mic mute 
  • Powered via Internal re-chargeable battery (8-hr capacity on a single charge) or through USB directly from an alternate source
  • Optional latching hard case with precision-cut foam insert 

Specifications

  • Style:                   Closed-Back Circumaural
  • Driver:                 40 mm Neodymium Magnet
  • Taction Driver:    Planar Nd magnet pairs, 0.8 N
  • Max Power:         1.7 W
  • Impedance:         38 Ohms
  • Freq Response (Acoustic):  10-30,000 Hz
  • Freq Response (Haptic):      15-200 Hz
  • Weight:                11 oz (312 g)
Typical acoustic data from a Kannon prototype
Typical acoustic data from a Kannon prototype
Typical tactile data from Kannon prototype
Typical tactile data from Kannon prototype

 Taction may also provide a long-term hearing preservation benefit.  With Taction, listeners can get a natural and intense experience with lower acoustic volume. Lowering acoustic volume 4.4 dB corresponds to cutting sound power by more than half, consistent with long term hearing preservation. Below are some measurements collected by a friend of the project - Dr. Christopher Schwetizer, board certified audiologist, university professor, and committee member for ANSI standards on hearing aids.

Listeners choose lower acoustic volume when Taction is available.
Listeners choose lower acoustic volume when Taction is available.

How it Works

Using the Taction Kannon is straightforward.  No software installation is required.  The attached headphone cable ends in a standard 4-pole 3.5mm plug for audio.  

Insert the 3.5mm audio plug into your audio source and enjoy. If you have both a stereo and microphone port on your device, simply use the included cable splitter.  

The inline controller has a mute button so you can easily turn your mic on and off.  The entire button lights up red to let you know that your mic is muted in case you forget mid-game.  The controller also has a button to turn the haptic driver on and off.  

Once you switch the haptic driver on you can adjust the Taction intensity using the knurled metal control knob to set a level anywhere from subtle to intense. 

Package contents: 

  • Taction Kannon Headphone with inline controller 
  • Removable microphone 
  • USB wall plug with USB charging cord
  • 3.5mm stereo cable splitter 
  • Product manual 

Early Reviews

Find the early reviews of the pre-production units at the following sites.

http://www.hifiplus.com/articles/canjam-socal-2016-report-part-4/?page=3

http://www.head-fi.org/t/791787/taction-technology-kannons

http://www.coolest-gadgets.com/20160320/taction-technology-reveals-bassrich-haptic-headphone/

http://www.computerpoweruser.com/article/20431/haptic-headphones-from-taction-use-vibrations-to-render-low-frequency-audio-03-18-16

http://www.basshead.club/taction-kannon-prototype-review/

http://www.head-fi.org/t/795171/taction-technology-kannon-headphone

http://www.morningstar.com/news/pr-news-wire/PRNews_20160317NY50022/taction-technology-launches-bassrich-haptic-headphone.print.html 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/taction-technology-launches-bass-rich-haptic-headphone-300237906.html

https://www.vrfocus.com/2016/03/taction-technology-launches-haptic-headphone/ 

http://drhelium.website/watch/C4JVVrsbiGA/taction-kannon-headphones-full-review.html

http://openworldpcgaming.com/2016/03/18/taction-technology-launches-haptic-headphones-vrfocus/ 

http://arkonetwork.com/biztrend/product-launch/taction-kannon-bass-rich-haptic-headphone/

http://vrboard.io/taction-technology-launches-haptic-headphones.html

http://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/tactile-transducers-bass-shakers.944/ 

http://manypost.com/haptic-headphones-from-taction-use-vibrations-to-render-low-frequency-audio-031816/

http://www.streetinsider.com/Press+Releases/Taction+Technology+Launches+Bass-Rich+Haptic+Headphone/11430157.html

http://finance.yahoo.com/news/taction-technology-launches-bass-rich-191500144.html http://vidsok.net/watch?v=C4JVVrsbiGA

http://www.cbs58.com/story/31497212/taction-technology-launches-bass-rich-haptic-headphone

http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2016/02/23/the-next-big-headphone-innovation-isnt-better-sound-its-built-in-rumble.aspx

Meet the Taction Team

Taction Technology is a dynamic and fast-moving start-up focused on bringing transformative technology to market.  The Taction Kannon, which has the potential to be a market-changing product in audio and gaming, will be the first product from the team's pipeline.  At the company's core is a small team of experienced executives, scientists and product designers led by S. James Biggs, Ph.D. and Michael Fierro.

S. James Biggs Ph.D. is a former MIT scientist with more than two dozen patents to his credit.  He has spent the last decade working in the development of touch and audio technology.  He started Taction Technology to focus his talent and energy on moving haptic products from concept to reality.

Michael Fierro has more than two decades of experience transitioning products from prototype to product, including strategic development, financial modelling and risk analysis.  His experience will be dedicated to bringing the Taction Kannon to market on schedule.

The executive team is actively supported by an advisory board of tech industry veterans - each of whom has a successful track record as and executive and investor.

Help Us Bring the Impact of Live Sound to Mobile Audio

We've set out to change the way people think about mobile audio.  I know, no small task. That's why we need your help.  The sense of touch has always been an important aspect of sound for me, and once you've experienced the Kannon, I think you will understand.

As a small company with minimal budget, we need your help to pay for tooling, molds, and supplies necessary to start production of this ground-breaking product.

We also need your help to get the word out.  Only a relatively small number of people have had the opportunity to experience a Kannon.  Help us spread the word and the Feeling of Sound.

Other fun stuff

Like the project but aren't in the market for a full set of headphones yet? Then support us at some of the other pledge levels and get some of this fine stuff.

Taction Sticker - Fist-and-phones meets the joy of vinyl
Taction Sticker - Fist-and-phones meets the joy of vinyl
Toast the revolution with tasteful drinking gear
Toast the revolution with tasteful drinking gear
T-shirt: Kannon logo front, Fist-and-Phones back.  Works for humans, too.
T-shirt: Kannon logo front, Fist-and-Phones back. Works for humans, too.

Projected Taction Timeline

Disclaimer

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

As with every project that seeks to transfer prototype design to full scale manufacturing, there is the risk that we will not be able to meet our estimated schedule for delivery. The Taction team, however, has done this before multiple times, and are aware of the risk factors, and have taken measures to reduce those risks. We are working with world-class manufacturing partners, and have long standing relationships with our suppliers.

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FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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    New reward - Symbolic victory! The Fist-and-Phones. The Kannon Logo. Express your devotion to intense audio-tactile realism with these two symbols. Printed on quality vinyl. Work well for distinguishing the the back of your laptop from the herd.

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    New reward - Heavy duty, large capacity, square shot glass. Engraved with Taction's Fist-and-Phones using the laser in Silicon Valley's Tech Shop San Jose - an instrument used to prototype countless successful hardware projects. The glasses are the official whiskey-drinking gear we use for toasts when good things happen in the Taction Kannon project.

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    Earliest of Earlybird Specials. You'll receive one Kannon headphone with detachable microphone and case. Welcome to the transformation.

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    Earlybird Special + cool stuff. You'll receive one Kannon headphone with detachable microphone and case ... AND you get the T-Shirt, Shot Glass and the vinyl fist n' fones, and a mention on our website. Welcome to the transformation.

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    Earlybird special with military-grade HARD CASE. You'll also get the T-shirt and so-on above, and one Kannon headphone with detachable microphone, in a latching, submersible, military-grade HARD CASE.

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    Kickstarter Special: Save a total of $400 on two units! You'll receive two Kannon headphones with detachable microphones and cases. Welcome to the transformation.

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    Ultimate audiophile edition. Hand-matched tactile drivers. Heavy-duty case. Signed by James. Certificate of authenticity.

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    DUELING KANNONS. Two ultimate audiophile edition headphones, suitable for a duel-to-the-musical death by two people seeking to top the other one's song. Or just listening with a friend. Hand-matched tactile drivers. Heavy-duty cases. Signed by James. Certificates of authenticity.

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    KANNON PATRON. Set of four Kannons with premium cases and hand-matched drivers. Private updates on our company progress. Exclusive previews of upcoming product releases, and an opportunity to steer us toward success. OUR ETERNAL GRATITUDE.

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    KANNON VISIONARY. Set of eight Kannons with premium cases and hand-matched drivers. Private updates on company progress. Previews of upcoming technologies. Selected design sketches, laboratory notebook pages, and patent illustrations - all hand-signed by the KANNON team and framed for display. OUR ETERNAL GRATITUDE.

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Funding period

- (40 days)