This project's funding goal was not reached on May 8, 2014.
About this project
UPDATE APRIL 23: We've received comments from backers saying we should more prominently display some of our rewards. And so we have.
UPDATE APRIL 20: 60% raised...AE 51st Studios Unplugged make their first public appearance!
UPDATE APRIL 16: Over 50% raised! Check out the short video below from some of the folks behind AE:
Hello Kickstarter community, I'm Kunal Dalal, founder of Accidentally Extraordinary, a new independent headphone brand out of Oakland, California. We just launched our first product a few months ago, the 51st Studios over-ear headphone, and we've been receiving great reviews on both our design and sound. Based on that success, we decided to launch our Bluetooth models right away.
We're in the last stages of finalizing production, and I am very excited to offer you first dibs on our next product, the 51st Studios Unplugged--the first production wood headphone featuring Bluetooth.
The 51st Studios Unplugged Edition
- Wireless connectivity
- Multi-function button for power/playback/call
- Embedded microphone for wireless calls
- Sleek slider on left ear cup for next/previous track
- Volume Slider on headphone that functions in wired and wireless mode
- Walnut wood for a distinguished look and a richer listening experience
- Anodized stainless steel headband for a clean, crisp, ultra-modern finish
- Detachable 3.5mm cable for wired listening on non Bluetooth-enabled devices
- Standard micro-usb charging jack
- Laser etched logo on headband joint
About the 51st Studios UNPLUGGED
Inspired by wood-appointed recording studios and retro speakers, the 51st Studios UNPLUGGED headphone by AE opens a new gateway to a richer, deeper listening experience. The sustainably-grown walnut and stainless steel design combines incredibly clear wireless sound, natural swagger and eco-sensibility.
Clear Wireless Sound
Enjoy music wirelessly from any Bluetooth-enabled device with the same quality audio you would from a wired connection. Current prototypes use Bluetooth 3.1, however we plan to continue testing with Bluetooth 4.0 and to feature that technology, if feasible, for later mass production.
Track control, Volume Slider, Microphone
There's no need to put your hands back in your pocket or bag to find your phone, as you can control most playback and call features directly from the headphone. A discreet and convenient slide switch gets you from one track to the next, and a soft-travel volume slider is conveniently placed on the underside of the right earcup. The volume control will work across all devices, whether you're on wireless or plugged in. The track slider will work on smartphones and other devices set up for Bluetooth playback.
Deep, Rich, Robust Music
When have you ever seen a concert violinist play a plastic violin? Exactly. The 51st Studios UNPLUGGED is engineered to unlock the dynamic wood sound that musicians and audiophiles have long enjoyed.
Every single pair of 51st Studios UNPLUGGED is as unique as the tree from which they came, and the owner for whom they were purchased. The retro-inspired design combines stainless steel and walnut for a sleek but chic fashion accessory.
Look good and feel good in our sustainably-grown wood! The 51st Studios headphone is made with sustainably-grown walnut for a crisp sound and a clear conscience.
• Speaker Size: 40mm • Frequency response: 20Hz-20kHz • Impedence: 32Ω • Sensitivity: 110 +/- 3dB (1kHz, 1mW) • Rated input power: 30mW • Flat Cable: removable 1.2m TPE • Jack: 3.5mm gold-plated wold enclosed
Inner Fidelity's review of the 51st Studios
Manufacturing and Fulfillment
Our first production run of AE 51st was completed through a factory in Dongguan, China that is pioneering the incorporation of real wood and sustainable materials into their products. We have already met with the engineers at the factory to plan production of the Bluetooth-enabled model. Our relationship with the factory (and the fact that we have already completed our first production run) means we feel confident with our manufacturing partners and process.
Fulfillment will be completed through our existing channels as we move our headphones through our online store. We also have had initial conversations with fulfillment services in the San Francisco Bay Area, and if this crowdfunding opportunity reaches a level where we feel we need to involve them, we will do so. However our current plan is to continue fulfillment from our office and retail spaces with our current fulfillment coordinator.
May 2014: Close of Kickstarter Campaign, deposit made to factory for first order of AE 51st Studios Unplugged by end of month. ~40-day lead-time in factory.
mid/late-July 2014: First production run of 51st Studios Unplugged complete
early/mid-August 2014: First fulfillments of 51st Studios Unplugged to Kickstarter backers!
To learn more about the process of building this brand from scratch, read the interview below.
Interview with Founder Kunal Dalal about the history and growth of AE
WHAT WILL THE MONEY BE USED FOR?
The funds are to be used for the final stages of production, including tooling for production, logistical costs, and contracting costs for our last pieces of testing and quality assurance. The first units of the headphone are currently scheduled to ship in August, and Kickstarter backers will be the first to get units off the production line.
WHY AE WHEN THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER HEADPHONES OUT THERE?
Our tagline, "real wood, real steel, real style," encompasses a few of the things that distinguish us from the masses of plastic, personality-less headphones. We use real machined wood in our headphones, not veneer, and link the ear cups with the sophisticated and modern, and yet industrial look of anodized stainless steel. The design of the 51st Studios is unique, and you can see that for yourself.
Second, in a time when people are caring more and more about WHO their products are being made by, we think our team, the AEfam as we call it, represents a very different group than your standard industry folk. AE is a community that includes educators, artists, singers, poets, entrepreneurs, parents, students, and so many more. We're proud of our partnership with a pioneering headphone factory in China that is working to source real materials and limit the environmental impact of these products we love so much.
So from me and all of the AE fam, thank you for being a member of this wonderful Kickstarter community, and I hope you'll back us!
Have a great day!
$10 REMIND YOURSELF OF YOUR AE-NESS WITH A THREE PACK OF WOOD BOOKMARKS WITH "I AM ACCIDENTALLY EXTRAORDINARY" PRINTED ON ONE SIDE
$25: GET2WORK LEVEL: Get a pair of Bamboo Earbuds by Accidentally Extraordinary and three bookmarks! Earbuds feature: Sustainably-grown bamboo, inline microphone and button functions on iOS and most Android phones.
$41: I AM AE LEVEL: I AM ACCIDENTALLY EXTRAORDINARY T-SHIRT. REMIND YOURSELF AND TELL EVERYONE HOW AE YOU ARE. High Quality American Apparel Tri-blend Tshirt, Bamboo Earbuds, Three wood bookmarks.
$79: AE FAM LEVEL: AE 51 Studios (wired version)--new production run. New logo etched into the side of the walnut earcup. T-shirt, Bamboo Earbuds and set of three bookmarks included
$189: KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE: AE 51st Studios Unplugged. Tentative retail price $240. Limited available at this backer level!
$349: EXECUTIVE PACKAGE: Sophisticated look with black-stained wood on the AE 51st Studios Unplugged. You also receive the natural-color 51st Studios Unplugged and a wired AE 51st Studios off our new production line.
$10,000: Work with AE to design your own headphone.
Do you have an idea for a really cool headphone? OR, do you have an inspiration that you'd like to turn into an incredible product? We at AE would love to hear your story, about where the inspiration came from, and then work with you to create a design that captures that story.
We would really love a story that speaks to someone or something close to you that has inspired you. We think those are the kinds of stories that make the best products.
Timeline for $10,000 Reward:
1. Meeting end-May through early-June with AE team (we can fly you into Oakland or do a remote meeting) to get design ideas started. This will be done in order of backing. First to back at that level gets the first meeting.
2. First backer design will be finalized through the month of July, with final design ready end-of-month. Second Backer process begins August.
3. Packaging and storytelling work around your new product will begin within 30 days of final ready design. This process will last a couple of weeks. We are flexible with the schedule of the backer, however the packaging can present a great way to tell the story of this product, so we would like to work closely with you to get this right.
4. Depending on the backer's schedule, the final production-ready designs can be ready within 90-120 days of starting the process.
At the end of the process, you will receive two working prototypes. If we wish to move into production, funding for production tooling costs are not included as part of this reward.
If we reach our goal of $55,000, we can start moving with getting our SECOND ON-EAR HEADPHONE. Based on a classic aviator frame, this concept sketch gives you a sneak peek of our next design. Wood and perforated metal style accents harken to the classic days of flight, the leather wrap-around headband features exposed stitching, and the audio delivers the quality and depth of sound you can expect from all our headphones.
We'll start adding new rewards if you all help us get to our goal! We can get our REDs started on the production line too!
A TIMELINE OF ACCIDENTALLY EXTRAORDINARY
September 2012: Founder Kunal Dalal gets up from bed imagining a better headphone
January 2013: AE's first public appearance at CES! And the youngest member of the AEfam, Lucas Walker was born!
April 2013: Founder Kunal's first trip to China to meet potential manufacturing partners.
April-June 2013: Final design edits, back and forth between factory and AE
June 2013: Final design of AE 51st Studios complete!!
September 2013: Founder Kunal's second trip to the factory in China, FIRST PRODUCTION RUN!!
November 29, 2013: AE 51st Studios over-ear headphone officially launches!
January 2014: Our first month selling over 100 headphones!
March 2014: Over 500 AE 51st Studios sold! AE makes it to SXSW! New logo and website debuts.
April 2014: Kickstarter for AE 51st Studios Unplugged. We're so stoked.
Risks and challenges
We have just been through the process of getting production started on our first products (51st Studios and Bamboo Earbuds), so we have a good sense of how the process may unfold. We will be working with the same folks at our headphone factory who were incredibly helpful and supportive through the entire production process for our first headphones. We expect the same level of commitment through the final development and production of this product.
Some of the challenges we are sure to face include being sure that the final product quality of our new line matches the quality of our current products. With the addition of new technology, a battery, a wireless radio and other hardware and embedded software, there are simply more pieces that can break. The QA process will take longer this time around, as we will be looking for both physical durability and technical creativity.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The shipping price listed includes both shipping and CUSTOMS AND TAXES for your shipment. For our original 51st Studios, these taxes ranged (on a $99.99 product) from $30-$50 depending on the destination. We, for our first few international shipments, used the option to allow customers to pay the duty themselves, and that lead to unexpected charges to the customer and delays in delivery (some were even returned to us before the delivery could be made).
We feel this is very important as many shipments can get caught clearing customs and you may have to wait additional days to get your rewards. It also creates a logistics nightmare for us as we try to follow-up on all the packages requiring clearance.
We ship with our provider and all customs, duties, VAT and clearance charges are automatically charged to us. That way, we both know you're reward is getting to you the quickest way possible.
- (30 days)