About this project
The Soundwrap can change the way the world experiences action sports through music; and, the way the world experiences music through action sports.
We've tested our prototypes with dozens of riders and athletes in all kinds of sports. Whether you're a snowboarder looking to put the Soundwrap in your beanie, a motorcyclist looking to put it in your helmet, a cyclist, a runner, or whatever...The Syphon Soundwrap can change the way you experience action sports through music and change the way you experience music through action sports.
The Soundwrap uses ultra thin and comfortable, high quality, patent-protected materials to provide high clarity, amazing sound.
The Soundwrap is about 1/10 of an inch thin (3mm). In testing, one of the most common responses we received was "I forgot that it was even there!"
The sound quality is superb. Even riding a motorcycle with a straight pipe at 80mph, you'll be able to hear your music clearly over the noise of the engine.
Wrap Around Sound for Your Head
This thin, soft, flexible sound system is so thin that you can't even feel that it's there. The Soundwrap is versatile and fits just about anywhere. If you're wearing something on your head and want to listen to music..it'll work!
- Sweat-proof sleeve, removable for washing (Neoprene + Poly/Elastane blend)
- 2 Flexible Speakers inside the Wrap (About the size of a 3x5 card)
- 8 Hour battery
- Bluetooth connectivity (Works with smart phone or any other bluetooth enabled device)
- Aux-in option if you don't want to/don't have access to bluetooth
- Disconnect feature so you can remove your headwear without having to remove the Soundwrap.
About the Technology
Electrostatic speaker technology is not new. It has been around for decades and is known for its high quality sound reproduction…and high price. Unlike conventional speakers that use magnets and cone-shaped diaphragms to push air, electrostatic speakers vibrate an extremely thin membrane that is suspended between two conductive panels. The membrane has such a low mass that it responds precisely and quickly to audio signal changes. However, traditionally, it has required huge amounts of power to continually charge the membrane and drive the speaker. So, electrostatics have been heavy, expensive, and anything but portable.
Our self-bias electrostatic speakers (SBESL) are different and revolutionary. The technology is amazing and covered by more than twenty patents. Through a proprietary electrochemical process, the membrane is permanently charged. This allows us to create portable applications for SBESLs powered by small lithium ion batteries. The speaker panels are less than 1/10th of an inch thin. And, as you can see in the videos above, the speakers are not only thin but also flexible. This flexibility allows you to form your speakers to your own head and headwear.
This SBESL technology is only available from one company in the world: Taiwan Electrets Electronics Corporation (http://www.tw-teec.com/). We have a relationship with TEEC that we have developed over the past two years. Syphon is the only company in our space with whom TEEC works.
A couple of years ago I was parking cars at ski resort working my way through school. A venture capitalist acquaintance introduced me to the SBESL technology and I immediately thought of putting the flexible speakers into helmets and beanies. I was introduced to, and eventually worked for and with, the scientists who developed the technology. I developed a solid relationship with them. Eventually I approached them with my idea, business plan in hand, to start Syphon Sound and develop the Soundwrap. They were impressed with the plan and gave me their full support. I went to work.
I sketched out prototypes. I wanted the Soundwrap to be truly unique. This super thin, flexible speaker technology would drive the design. Syphon Sound would stand for providing elegant solutions to the widespread problems with heaphones and earbuds.
More research and design was necessary to increase the manufacturability of the Soundwrap. I taught myself how to do 3d rendering and my sketch became this:
After completeing the design, I needed help to actually make it. I recruited Trent Evans, a friend who is highly involved in textile design, to help make the Soundwrap a reality. After countless late nights, brainstorming sessions, and trials, we came up with the right materials and specs for the sweat-proof sleeve that encloses the two flexible stereo speakers.
We showed Kyle Kinghorn. He is a mechanical engineer and prototyping expert who designed and built the housing for the electronics that were being concurrently developed by Raytrend, our audio engineering partner. The Soundwrap was coming together.
We also brought in an electrical engineer, Rob Nelson, to help us interface with Raytrend and spec out and communicate our exact needs.
Together, our US team and our team of genius audio engineers in Taiwan made many prototypes; testing, tweaking, and testing again. We tested them with numerous athletes and riders in a variety of different sports. We wanted to be sure that we were designing to the user's wants and needs. Mission accomplished. Users of the product tell us they get to listen to their music and cannot even feel the speakers are there. They get the joy of the music without the pain of earbuds.
Vinyl Cut-out Stickers
These Syphon Vinyl stickers come in black and white and are a Kickstarter exclusive. They have a 3" diameter and are a perfect way to show your support.
Tri-blend Ghost-print Tees
We chose the best shirts we could for this incentive. The Tri-blend Tee is a high quality shirt that is super soft - just like the Soundwrap. The Syphon logo is ghost-printed on the front of the shirt. They come in women's and men's cuts in lots of colors.
Design and Manufacturing Partners and Plan
The Syphon Soundwrap utilizes SBESL speaker panels from our partners at TEEC in Taiwan.
The audio engineering and electronics have been developed by Raytrend Corporation (http://www.raytrendtek.com/). They are experts in electrostatics. Raytrend’s development team has a combined total of more than 100 years of experience in this space.
Our team and partners in the US have long histories and experience in design, manufacturing, testing, assembly, packaging, and fulfillment.
Development Workshop Inc. will be doing the injection molding of our Bluetooth amplifier case as well as the production of the soft sweat-proof sleeve.
Finally, all of the components, pieces, and parts will come together at Elevate Inc where testing, assembly, packaging, and fulfillment will be done.
Our supply chain and partners are in place. Our relationships with each are strong. We are ready to move forward with your help and support
The funds raised through Kickstarter will be used for hard tooling costs and initial inventory.
Risks and challenges
We've done our homework to make sure we have eliminated as much risk as possible, especially to our KickStarter supporters. As with any KickStarter project, the majority of our effort will go towards meeting the shipping date. We've made sure that designs are finalized, shipping costs and customs are dealt with, and relationships with suppliers are strong. We didn't want to launch our KickStarter until we were absolutely confident that we could get the finished product into the hands of our supporters within a reasonable time frame. Everything is setup and ready to go. All we need is the cash to give this project a green light.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
In our testing we haven't run into this issue. If you are in a quiet room with the volume turned up, there may be some sound leakage, but on the slopes/out and about where there is more ambient noise, we haven't noticed any sound leakage.
Since the Soundwrap is so thin and lightweight, fitting it to your head size/comfort level is really easy. Some people wrap it around the back of their head, others wrap it around their upper neck, we've even seen some wrap it around the front of their helmet. You can fit it just about anywhere in your headwear. We've had people test it out on all shapes and sizes and no one has complained about it not fitting their head or being uncomfortable.
Almost every time we've gone out to test we've had the riders compare the Soundwrap to their earbuds. Without exception they have all said that the Soundwrap has a higher or at least comparable sound quality.
The technology powering the Soundwrap (Self Bias Electrostatics) was designed to emit soundwaves via an electro-membrane to the eardrum which sends the audio signal to the inner ear. Our technology does not use bone conduction (popular in some hearing aids) to send the audio signal to the inner ear.
The Soundwrap is "sweat proof." The two flexible stereo speakers are covered by a sleeve that is made with neoprene and a poly-elastane blend which protects the speakers from perspiration.
Yes. Simply slide the two flexible stereo speakers out of the sweat proof sleeve and throw it in the washer.
The box is where the electronics are encased. The Bluetooth chip, amplifiers, circuit board, and battery are all inside this "box." There is an Aux-in jack on the box for those who don't want to use the Bluetooth feature. Dimensions of the box - 2" x 3" x 0.5"
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