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Unlocking your music's potential on the go with the revolutionary new DAC from Cyrus  - the soundKey
Unlocking your music's potential on the go with the revolutionary new DAC from Cyrus - the soundKey
1,165 backers pledged £79,962 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Cyrus soundKey DAC : Bringing your music on the move to life

£79,962

1,165

FAQs

You can find answers to these popular FAQs at the foot of this page.... just scroll down to read:

  • What are the key drivers behind the design choices you have made? 
  • How does the Cyrus soundKey access the digital files on your phone? 
  • What is the highest resolution file that the Cyrus soundKey will work with?
  • What cables does the Cyrus soundKey ship with?
  • What devices will Cyrus soundKey be compatible with?
  • What headphones will the Cyrus soundKey drive?
  • Will the Cyrus soundKey work with the iPhone 7?
  • Which iPods will Cyrus soundKey work with? 
  • Which cables do Apple users need?

Stretch Goals

A huge thank you to everyone who has pledged so far and welcome to the Cyrus family.

We have been completely blown away by the response we have had to the launch of the Cyrus soundKey on Kickstarter.  You have really engaged with some fantastic comments and great feedback on ways to further improve the product. 

We have decided to announce some stretch goals to give you some great colour choices for your Cyrus soundKey. At each £10,000 milestone we will unlock a new colour.

Every current and future backer will be contacted at the end of the campaign to confirm your choice from the original Black and any available colours that have been unlocked.

We will update this graphic as the colours are unlocked so you know what’s available.

About the project

Cyrus a specialist audio company built around its Research and Development team, which encourages innovative ideas, feeding our obsession for ever higher quality reproduction. Our mission is simple – we want to build a better music experience for our customers.

For over 30 years Cyrus has been winning multiple international awards for our products. Two of our core skills are amplifier and DAC design, which we believe make us well placed to design a product such as the Cyrus soundKey. Essential to delivering those skills is 30 years of experience in designing power supplies, which are key to the performance of any amplifier. Amplifiers do not in fact amplify, they actually make larger copies of the original source signal. Therefore, the quality of ingredients (power) that you use to make the copy from is critical to the ultimate quality of that amplified copy.

The Cyrus factory is in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, where all our products are conceived. We design, prototype, tune, manufacture and support our products from this UK headquarters which is unusual for a modern consumer product company. Cyrus has chosen to build our team of people and expertise in Cambridgeshire, where we are surrounded by a rich pool of excellence in education, technology, high-tech manufacturing and enquiring minds.

Cyrus is a privately owned company conceived and run with the main principle that, like our customers, we really enjoy listening to music and want the experience to be a truly absorbing emotional ride. When our customers say “Wow” when they listen to music on our products, we know we are achieving our goal.

We want to bring the Cyrus sound to you on-the-go with our new soundKey DAC

Have you ever felt when listening to music on your phone that it sounds a bit flat, that it doesn't quite have the edge or the impact you would expect?

Let me fix that!

I’m Simon Freethy, Managing Director of Cyrus Audio Ltd. Cyrus Audio is an award winning specialist audio equipment company based in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, UK.

If you are a music lover then your phone just isn’t delivering the quality of sound that you could have. That's because your phone has been designed as a phone and not an audio playback device. Cheap parts in your phone mean you just aren't getting the sound you deserve, so we have poured our 30 years of audio expertise into a new high quality DAC and amplifier, the Cyrus soundKey. Designed to feel like part of your headphone cable, simply plug the Cyrus soundKey into your phone, and your headphones into the Cyrus soundKey for a hugely improved listening experience.

 

  

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What is the Cyrus soundKey?

We’ve taken our experience and award-winning expertise and squeezed it into the Cyrus soundKey. Plug it into your phone, tablet or laptop for unbeatable sound on the go.

  • Awesome sound quality
  • Small and lightweight (around 16g)
  • Smooth sleek design
  • Robust aluminium casing
  • Extremely low current, conserving your phone’s battery life
  • Compatible with a wide range of audio format, including MP3, AAC, and FLAC
  • Can handle High Resolution audio files up to 24bit/96kHz.

 Watch the technical video

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Why do we listen to music?
We listen to music because it triggers an emotional reaction in us. However, if the detail and the dynamics of the music are compromised, much of the emotional content is lost, making the music less interesting and less exciting to listen to.  

The high quality components in the Cyrus soundKey will give your music a greater sense of space, enabling you to hear more clearly the separate instruments, voices and melodies. Detail is greater, so the subtle nuances in vocal intonation or the way a note is played can be heard more easily.

Grip on the lower frequencies will also be better, so bass notes should sound more tuneful, driving their own rhythm, rather than just being heavy and loud. All of this leads to a more emotionally engaging, and therefore enjoyable experience.

Listening to the music simply becomes more fun.

  

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How is the Cyrus soundKey different to other DACs?

Firstly, the size and design. If you are using your phone as your source of music, you are likely to be on the move. Therefore, being small and lightweight is key. The Cyrus soundKey weighs around 16 grams, so it’s no extra burden on your pocket or bag. From a design perspective, smooth rounded edges enable it to feel more like an integral part of the cable without catching or snagging on anything.

Secondly, the Cyrus soundKey has been designed to be an extremely low current device. Why is this important? We have deliberately not put a separate battery inside the Cyrus soundKey to keep it small, light and prevent you from having yet another thing you need to charge. Therefore it relies on the battery in the phone to provide it with power. The more power an external DAC draws, the quicker it will drain your phone battery. Other DACs typically drain 100mA - Cyrus soundKey has been designed to draw only 50mA.

Finally, it’s made by us, Cyrus. We have over 30 years of designing and tuning audio components to bring the very best out of a product, and provide a better music experience for our customers.

 

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How will the funding help?

The funding will help us progress the next few rounds of prototyping as we refine the product design and ensure it can pass all the required safety and emissions approvals. Importantly though, we want our potential purchasers to have some input into this design refining process, so where there are questions of aesthetic, style or functionality choices, we can open this up to debate with a wider audience.

The main part of the funding will be to set up tooling for mass production, and committing to sufficient quantities of raw material parts to ensure that the eventual product price comes down to something that consumers will see as good value. It is a lot cheaper per unit when you order 2,000 of a particular component as opposed to 100.

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Timeline

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What people think so far

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Cyrus soundKey in the press

We've already had some great coverage in the press about our campaign.

Cyrus soundKey in the press
Cyrus soundKey in the press

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A little bit about Cyrus

Cyrus a specialist audio company built around its Research and Development team, which encourages innovative ideas, feeding our obsession for ever higher quality reproduction. Our mission is simple – we want to build a better music experience for our customers.

For over 30 years Cyrus has been winning multiple international awards for our products. Two of our core skills are amplifier and DAC design, which we believe make us well placed to design a product such as the Cyrus soundKey. Essential to delivering those skills is 30 years of experience in designing power supplies, which are key to the performance of any amplifier. Amplifiers do not in fact amplify, they actually make larger copies of the original source signal. Therefore, the quality of ingredients (power) that you use to make the copy from is critical to the ultimate quality of that amplified copy.

The Cyrus factory is in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, England, where all our products are conceived. We design, prototype, tune, manufacture and support our products from this UK headquarters which is unusual for a modern consumer product company. Cyrus has chosen to build our team of people and expertise in Cambridgeshire, where we are surrounded by a rich pool of excellence in education, technology, high-tech manufacturing and enquiring minds.

Cyrus is a privately owned company conceived and run with the main principle that, like our customers, we really enjoy listening to music and want the experience to be a truly absorbing emotional ride. When our customers say “Wow” when they listen to music on our products, we know we are achieving our goal.

Risks and challenges

Whilst we have some working prototypes in R&D, there are a couple of key steps before this can become a consumer product. The first is refining the physical design, to ensure that the user experience is hitch free. This usually requires some real world testing to see how the product works in real world environments, checking that there is not a situation that a user may come across that we have not foreseen.

The second big step will be electronic emissions approvals. All consumer electronic products need to be CE approved for sale in Europe (and large parts of the rest of the world) and FCC approved for sale in the USA. These standards involve elements of electrical safety but also limit allowable levels of electro-magnetic radiation. Fortunately, the Cyrus engineers have many years of experience of designing circuits to minimise this.

The prototypes will be taken to a specialised lab where the electro-magnetic radiation will be measured from many angles across a wide range of frequencies. A first time pass is unusual, but our engineers can interpret the test results and work out how to redesign the circuit to pass, crucially, and this is the key skill, without lowering the sonic performance of the product.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £10 or more About $13

    Cyrus soundKey FAN

    Give us a thumbs up by pledging £10 to our kickstarter project. As a fan you will get a personal thank you email, your name on the soundKey website and a FREE Cyrus circuit board keyring.

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    Pledge £49 or more About $61

    VIP SPECIAL (50% off)

    Get a cracking deal on one of the first brand new Cyrus soundKey's in black when it rolls off the production line in November this year. RRP £99. Thank you for being a VIP Special supporter.

    Reward: 1 x Cyrus soundKey in black

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    Pledge £59 or more About $74

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL (40% off)

    Be one of the next lucky recipients of a brand new Cyrus soundKey at a great reduction. RRP £99. Thank you for being an Early Bird Special supporter.

    Reward: 1 x Cyrus soundKey in black

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    Reward no longer available 500 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £69 or more About $86

    KICKSTARTER SPECIAL (30% off)

    Take advantage of our great Kickstarter Special offer for your Cyrus soundKey in black. RRP £99. Thank you for being a Kickstarter Special supporter.

    Reward: 1 x Cyrus soundKey in black

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Funding period

- (28 days)