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Advanced nano-materials for high performance audio
Advanced nano-materials for high performance audio
Advanced nano-materials for high performance audio
2,055 backers pledged CA$ 774,768 to help bring this project to life.

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ORA: The World’s First Graphene Headphones

CA$ 774,768

2,055

THE WORLD'S FIRST GRAPHENE HEADPHONES

ORA GQ Headphones uses nanotechnology to deliver the most groundbreaking audio listening experience. Scientists have long promised that one day Graphene will find its way into many facets of our lives including displays, electronic circuits and sensors. ORA’s Graphene technology makes it one of the first companies to have created a commercially viable application for this Nobel-prize winning material, a major scientific achievement.

The GQ Headphones come equipped with ORA’s patented GrapheneQ™ membranes, providing unparalleled fidelity. The headphones also offer all the features you would expect from a high-end audio product: wired/wireless operation, a gesture control track-pad, a digital MEMS microphone, breathable lambskin leather and an ear-shaped design optimized for sound quality and isolated comfort.

AUDIO PRECISION VIA NANOTECHNOLOGY

Graphene pushes the limitations of loudspeakers, a technology that has seen little innovation since its invention in 1921. 

ORA takes a material that is 200 times stronger than steel and 1000 times lighter than paper and uses it to make flawless sound. 

This material provides significant benefits for loudspeaker performance:

  • Instant improvements in sound quality
  • Immediate extension of battery life, up to 70%
  • More volume from small speakers
  • Unrivaled high frequency response for improved localization cues

SOUND STAGE

GrapheneQ technology enables better imaging.
GrapheneQ technology enables better imaging.

Typical, closed, headphones (left) produce “in-head” imaging where the entire sound-stage appears to come only from the small space between your ears. GrapheneQ (right) provides better localization cues producing a wider, more realistic listening experience.

AUDIO PRECISION

GrapheneQ’s low mass prevents it from blurring sound with resonances and phase shifts
GrapheneQ’s low mass prevents it from blurring sound with resonances and phase shifts

GrapheneQ reacts more accurately than other materials which allows it to truthfully recreate the original recording without additional artifacts.

 

 

WHAT IS GRAPHENE?

Graphene is a new material, first isolated only 13 years ago. Formed from a single layer of carbon atoms, Graphene is a hexagonal crystal lattice in a perfect honeycomb structure. This fundamental geometry makes Graphene ridiculously strong and lightweight. It has been dubbed “the wonder material” because of its potential to change the world as we know it: from desalinating water, to curing spinal injuries, to making our computers 10,000x faster.

MATERIALS SCIENCE FOR THE BEST AUDIO

Graphene is considered the ‘holy grail’ for loudspeaker membranes, the part of the speaker that vibrates to produce sound. Because of its lightweight properties it can move quickly & easily and because of its incredible stiffness, it keeps its shape as it moves.

 

 

 From award-winning professionals to everyday music lovers...

 

 

We let world-famous conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, Music Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Orquesta Sinfónica Simón Bolívar, experience Graphene Audio and he was thrilled by the headphones' quality and accuracy of the sound.

A MESSAGE FROM GUSTAVO DUDAMEL

As a conductor, it is my job to listen. Recently, I was approached by ORA Sound, a nanotechnology startup claiming to have achieved groundbreaking levels of sound quality thanks to a new ‘wonder material’ called graphene.

I was immediately blown away by the level of detailed, crystal clear sound from their speakers. From Brahms to Latin American folk songs, I heard every musical detail with a level of clarity I’ve only ever experienced from the podium in front of an orchestra.

I am a fan of ORA and believe their technology can allow everyone to hear their favorite music like they are the conductor!

Good luck ORA.

- Gustavo Dudamel

The day Gustavo Dudamel experienced Graphene Audio for the first time
The day Gustavo Dudamel experienced Graphene Audio for the first time

DUDAMEL FOUNDATION PARTNERSHIP

ORA is thrilled to announce a partnership with Gustavo Dudamel and his charity, The Dudamel Foundation. Together we will provide children of diverse backgrounds with access to quality listening experiences. The partnership is inspired by the belief that the art of listening is fundamental to peace, harmony and understanding in our world.

 

LOUDSPEAKER HISTORY

Many of the recent advancements in loudspeakers and headphones have focused on the addition of digital processing (DSP). While DSP is a powerful tool, it can only act as a Band-Aid to mask the inherent performance issues of this century-old technology. ORA, instead, applies its expertise in nanotechnology and materials science to fundamentally improve the core of the loudspeaker and provide a level of quality and efficiency not possible from other consumer technologies.

UNCOMPROMISING SOUND

ORA’s patented GrapheneQ material is acoustically optimized to produce the smoothest, most extended frequency response for a true-to-life listening experience that will make you forget you are listening to loudspeakers.

  • Eliminates distortion for the most accurate audio
  • Detailed highs, crystal clear mids, and robust bass
  • Increased audio clarity through nano-scale audio precision
  • Lifelike, high resolution listening experience

IT’S ALL ABOUT EFFICIENCY

Speakers are probably the least efficient technology that we still use in our day to day lives. Less than 1% of the electrical power that goes into a speaker is converted into sound power. Graphene’s lightweight and low density properties means that it requires a lot less energy to move the membrane and produce sound.

ORA’s GrapheneQ enables far more energy-efficient loudspeakers.
ORA’s GrapheneQ enables far more energy-efficient loudspeakers.

 

A TECHNICAL INTRODUCTION TO GRAPHENE

Graphene is a new material, first isolated only 13 years ago. Formed from a single layer of carbon atoms, Graphene is a hexagonal crystal lattice in a perfect honeycomb structure. This fundamental geometry makes Graphene ridiculously strong and lightweight. In its pure form, Graphene is a single atomic layer of carbon. It can be very expensive and difficult to produce in sizes any bigger than small flakes. These challenges have prevented pristine Graphene from being integrated into consumer technologies.

THE GRAPHENEQ™ SOLUTION

At ORA, we’ve spent the last few years creating GrapheneQ, our own, proprietary Graphene-based nanocomposite formulation. We’ve specifically designed and optimized it for use in acoustic transducers. GrapheneQ is a composite material which is over 95% Graphene by weight. It is formed by depositing flakes of Graphene into thousands of layers that are bonded together with proprietary cross-linking agents. Rather than trying to form one, continuous layer of Graphene, GrapheneQ stacks flakes of Graphene together into a laminate material that preserves the benefits of Graphene while allowing the material to be formed into loudspeaker cones.

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Comparison
Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Comparison

 

 

Laser scans were made with a Klippel test system at a 3rd party lab, Warkwyn, a subsidiary of the USA loudspeaker manufacturer MISCO. 

WARKWYN 2D LASER SCANS

 

Membrane motion in 2D cross-sections
Membrane motion in 2D cross-sections

 As loudspeaker cones move back and forth, transverse waves can also move through the membrane. Stiffer materials hold their shape better and prevent these transverse waves from coloring the sound.

WARKWYN 3D LASER SCANS

 

3D membrane laser scans
3D membrane laser scans

The polymer membrane is exhibiting speaker “Break-Up” where one part of the cone is moving forward (Blue) while another part of the cone is moving backward (Red). This causes distortion and cancellations at certain frequencies producing an irregular frequency response.

 

OPTIMIZED FOR SOUND ISOLATION AND ACOUSTICS

The closed back design and wooden ear cups provide excellent isolation from outside noise while offering optimized acoustic performance. These headphones are so comfortable, you’ll want to wear them all day long. The sealed, over-ear design is ergonomically shaped.

INNOVATIVE GESTURE CONTROLS

Even the slightest touch puts you in full control of ORA GQ Headphones. Use the unique touch interface on the aluminum disk to answer calls, change tunes, or adjust the volume.
Even the slightest touch puts you in full control of ORA GQ Headphones. Use the unique touch interface on the aluminum disk to answer calls, change tunes, or adjust the volume.

 

One Tap to Play/Pause; Double Tap to Answer a Call
One Tap to Play/Pause; Double Tap to Answer a Call

 

Slide to Skip Tunes
Slide to Skip Tunes

 

Volume Up/Down
Volume Up/Down

MATERIAL ELEGANCE

The lambskin leather we use for the headband and ear pads is extremely durable and offers a soft, breathable touch for long-term comfort. The headband’s interior is made out of premium fabric and features memory foam cushion inserts for ultimate comfort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT'S IN THE BOX?

  • Ora GrapheneQ Headphones
  • 1.2m (3.9’) Audio cable with gold plated 3.5 mm (1/8”) connector and 6.3mm (1/4”) adapter
  • USB-C to USB-A cable for charging and updating 
  • Protective Carrying Case
  • Quickstart Guide
  • Warranty Information Card

 

 

ACADEMIC NETWORK

From conception, ORA has been collaborating with some of the brightest minds in academia. Our university network plays a central role in our day-to-day work. None of our materials science breakthroughs could have been achieved without the support of our university partners. BIG thank you to McGill University, Northwestern University and University of Michigan for your collaborative attitude and vision!

TANDEMLAUNCH

A startup foundry like no other, by focusing exclusively on turning inventions into companies in consumer electronics, TandemLaunch exposed ORA to extraordinary opportunities at even the earliest stages of its development. We’d like to extend our sincere appreciation and thanks to the partners and venture development teams at TandemLaunch who helped accelerate ORA at a break-neck pace while keeping our foundations strong - freeing us to focus on crafting our vision for consumer audio.

OTHER PARTNERS  

A BIG thank you to our family, friends and mentors who have helped make this campaign a reality. A special shout-out to I/O Studio (www.iostudio.ca), our talented video agency, Jordi Vilanova, our graphic designer, Alto Design (http://www.alto-design.com), our industrial designers, Proper Propaganda (www.properpropaganda.net), our PR professionals, and LaunchBoom (www.launchboom.com), our Pre-Launch Marketing Agency.

 

This project is promoted by Jellop, a direct¬ response online advertising agency specializing in Kickstarter campaigns on Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.
This project is promoted by Jellop, a direct¬ response online advertising agency specializing in Kickstarter campaigns on Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                          

 

 

 

Risks and challenges

We are really excited to bring the first graphene audio experiences to the world.

From its inception, ORA has taken an industry driven approach to design, manufacturing and materials development. Feedback from our top-tier consumer electronics OEM partners have guided our decisions in choosing and qualifying our manufacturers. We are as confident as possible that we will not only achieve our vision of professional sound through nanotechnology, but that we will deliver your new audio experience on time. Because our only goal for this campaign is to put the power of graphene audio in your hands, these funds are committed to achieving the highest quality product possible. To this end, we have additionally engaged a highly experienced manufacturing and shipping logistics center in Asia that will add an additional layer of control and objective quality assurance.

We would be remiss not to discuss the potential for manufacturing delays. While our technology is a drop-in substitution in the headphone manufacturing chain - and so does not introduce any complexity into the process - any venture that is the result of an international collaboration between industrial partners risks hiccups that delay our delivery date.

However, we hold ourselves to three promises to you:
1) We will overcome any problems that delay the delivery of your headphones.
2) Your headphones will be held to our highest standards of design and quality.
3) We will be entirely transparent to our process so that you are always aware of how your headphones are progressing.

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Funding period

- (30 days)