$805
pledged of $80,000pledged of $80,000 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, October 30 2018 10:00 PM UTC +00:00
Charles MiltenbergerBy Charles Miltenberger
First created
Charles MiltenbergerBy Charles Miltenberger
First created
$805
pledged of $80,000pledged of $80,000 goal
11
backers
0seconds to go
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, October 30 2018 10:00 PM UTC +00:00

About

Mirror-image controls.
Mirror-image controls.

Final stretch!!! Thank you for your support backers!

CRICKET TEST - Does one ear hear a cricket (yes, that little singing insect) differently than the other - try it next time you are out at night...  

Be sure to check out the updates and progress section with the latest info on my Stereo EQ Headphone Amp project (remember to click on the text for any images).  A special shout out to my daughter, who is in film school, for creating the video for me.  Please check out my story at www.asymmetricEQ.com.  

Headphone amplifiers...

Just like a good bookshelf speaker pair can be improved when powered by a quality, high-fidelity receiver or amplifier, your headphones or ear buds can have their sound significantly improved with the use of the right headphone amplifier.  Improving each link in your sound chain is the best way to obtain the best sonic clarity, range and detail of your music or podcasts (along with having a clean, uncompressed source signal).

Why do I need THIS headphone amplifier?

This high-fidelity headphone amp does what I have seen no other headphone amp do.

Personalize Your Sound Environment

Need more Treble Left? There's a dial for it.  Need more Bass Right?  There's a dial for that.  Kids bothering you and need to turn down the volume on one side? There's a dial for that too.  This is a battery operated (up to 40 hours of play time with 3X lithium AA batteries, not included!) high fidelity headphone amp with optional USB direct power (not for charging).  I will continue to post final specifications, off-tool samples and production pictures as they become available. The prototype sounds AWESOME - the guts are high quality and high fidelity.  I cannot stress that enough.  Improving your amplification quality can allow you to hear music nuances you may not have heard on lower quality systems.

This project is an analog device that will connect to an analog sound source (anything with a 3.5mm jack analog output) -  an iPhone using the headphone dongle, Android phones using the headphone jack, Xbox and PS4 controllers, Roku's with the headphone out on the remote, current versions of Echo and Echo dot, flat screen's with analog out, etc.  The output is a 3.5mm output for ear buds and headphones ranging from 16 to 300 ohms.

Note that using a very low cost and readily available Bluetooth receiver dongle (not included) as an input,  this unit is easily made wireless. 

Scroll down below for final front-face control layout... 

Original mock-up testing.
Original mock-up testing.

Background

Personal Sound Amplification Products have been around for a while.

On the tech horizon are the new "hearables". Soon you will be wearing computers (like smart phones) in your ears. Alexa (or Siri, or... ) will be talking to you through your ear buds alone, and you can talk back with her directly (just raise your wrist and speak into your smartwatch for a private conversation). The cloud will be listening and monitoring everything that you are hearing, monitoring, and saying as well. You will have all the answers and data of mankind available to you, “in your head”. Everyone will be the smartest guy (or gal) in the room. These will most likely be the next killer devices (as in killer app) IMHO). 

Yet there are many tech hurdles that need to be overcome, and many companies are in process of tackling them right now (for example, that well-publicized syncing issue with wireless ear buds, and also other universal engineering issues such as minimizing the microwaves that travel through your head when the (left and right ear) wireless units communicate with each other). 

Technology changes slowly over time.  The above picture, given to me by my godfather, is of a Southern California machine shop circa late ‘30s (his father worked in this shop).  Notice the drive belts coming from the drive shaft at the ceiling.  A single gas powered engine drove this shaft which then drove all of the machines (lathes, milling, etc.)  No electrical power!  How far we've come!
Technology changes slowly over time. The above picture, given to me by my godfather, is of a Southern California machine shop circa late ‘30s (his father worked in this shop). Notice the drive belts coming from the drive shaft at the ceiling. A single gas powered engine drove this shaft which then drove all of the machines (lathes, milling, etc.) No electrical power! How far we've come!

I can imagine one of the features of these future products would be extensive software customization of your listening environment. But we are not there yet. Today, to my knowledge, there is only one equalization app in the iTunes store that allows you to EQ (equalize) the left and right channels independently. And this app only lets you use your iTunes playlists with its features (not internet pages, videos, etc.). I can’t find any on Android. This is due to the structure of these operating systems I am told – and it is not a technologically easy thing to do (something to do with root level coding, security and permissions…) because of the way the smartphones are currently configured. The engineering standards and details still need to be laid out (Bluetooth V6, iOS 14?). 

In the mean-time, in today's tech-filled world there are scores of reasons why you would want the tool or utility to be able to control your left and right sound frequency-responses independently (I was originally inspired to create this project based on my desire for more treble in my now less-dominant left ear due to a megaphone incident in Las Vegas a few years back). 

My hope is that this is a desired feature of many consumers (us) and that the success of this campaign will signal the need for developers to incorporate this feature into future tech designs (as in an "advanced button”). This project is basically a referendum on the future of hearables and the totality of their features. 

This AEQ ONE (as I have named it) unit is simply a 2-channel stereo equalizer, with Bass and Treble (and volume) controls on each channel, designed into a headphone amp. You could build one yourself from existing mixers and amps – but none would be in a self-contained unit, and most likely come at a higher overall cost (including time spent). 

Latest PCB proto.
Latest PCB proto.
Latest Prototype (working and used in the promotional video).
Latest Prototype (working and used in the promotional video).
Exclusive Mirror-Image Control Layout
Exclusive Mirror-Image Control Layout

The funds for this campaign, if successful, will go toward product tooling (casing, knobs, PCB, packaging, etc.), design and production costs, as well as marketing costs.  I have worked with the same reliable factory for quality and timely products over the past 15 years.

Experimenting with Sound

Encouragingly, people I tested the prototype with were more impressed after using the product than from my initial description of it. Their smiles and sometimes perplexing look on their faces as they played with the dials, experimenting with the individual EQs, possibly even learning how to differentiate low and high frequency sounds for the first time, gratified me. I could see their mind processing this new-found knowledge and capability. I was flooded with satisfaction. Education is always a good thing.

If you made it reading this far, why not support my project and get one in your hands? :-)  Thank you for your time, and any help with spreading the campaign word would be tremendously appreciated (share, tweet, etc.).   

Risks and challenges

The timeline has been carefully analyzed and all design issues have been carefully thought out. I foresee no issues with meeting the January 2019 customer ship date. The success of this campaign, as in the threshold of number of backers, will determine future design projects along this category. I will keep you posted of all progress and status changes along the way! This product will meet all industry safety standards, requirements, and guidelines, including necessary documentation and notices.

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    Pledge $79 or more About $79

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    Prioritized delivery of BLACK color AEQ unit (includes straight connector input cable and RCA adapter (optionally used))

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    Bronze Basic Tier Backer

    Delivery of BLACK color AEQ unit (includes straight connector input cable, RCA input jack adapter).

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    Silver Tier Backer

    Delivery of BLACK color AEQ unit (includes straight connector input cable and RCA input adapter (optionally used))

    - Additional Elbowed (90 degree connector) Input Cable - USB power cable

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    Pledge $109 or more About $109

    Gold Tier Backer

    Prioritized delivery of BLACK color AEQ unit (includes straight connector input cable and RCA input adapter (optionally used))

    - AEQ ONE T-Shirt - Additional Elbowed (90 degree connector) Input Cable - USB power cable

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Funding period

- (41 days)