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A wireless headset without speakers?  Discover how Sound Band can open your ears...
A wireless headset without speakers? Discover how Sound Band can open your ears...
3,982 backers pledged $547,125 to help bring this project to life.

3rd party feedback and DMAs

23 likes

Hello Backers!

We received the third party feedback on our SB5 schematics. This might really interest some but others...not so much. Most all of it is really great news and one step closer to getting the boards to production!

Power Supply. There were a couple of corrections to the power supply that had to be made. Easy fix; completed.

Battery Charge Circuit. We were offered the choice to change a resistor value or completely remove the existing circuit (taken from the EVB schematic) if a 200 mA charging rate was deemed acceptable. We chose to eliminate the circuit and use the built in charger capability to simplify the design, reduce parts count (remove 1 transistor and 3 passives), thereby increasing reliability and reducing heat during the charge process. The transistor was fairly large and we were able to recover some space on the PCB as a result of removing this (redundant) circuit. Completed.

Reset Circuit. We were advised that the reset circuit taken from the previous design was redundant and could be removed. The new chip has an internal reset circuit and it's #Reset pin may be left unconnected. We removed the reset circuit by eliminating its transistor with 4 passive components and we recovered a corresponding amount of PCB real estate as a result.

Power On Circuit and "Enter" Button. We were advised that we similarly did not need a transistor based circuit used for the Power On button which was taken from the previous design (it worked but was unnecessary). We removed it and we picked up additional board space as a result.

We continue to route the board and are incorporating the schematic feedback suggestions. 

DMA with potted wires
DMA with potted wires

Another review with the changes and then we can send the boards out for short-run production scheduling. While we await more robust DMAs from our supplier as outlined in the last update, we have been experimenting with potting materials for the DMAs so that they will withstand the pressure in the production over-mold tool. We are scheduled end of next week for shooting more samples at the plastic injection molding facility.

Mechanical drawings are still underway. The board dimensions were finalized at 15mm x 72mm. We elected to upgrade from the 3.5mm jack to a 2.5mm jack to fit the footprint of the board. Sound Band will come with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable.

At this time, we are on track to assemble the beta-tester units at the end of March/beginning of April.

Cheers!

The Hybra Team

Ryan, Joe, Marty, and Meagan

Comments

    1. Creator Luke Kane on February 15, 2014

      @Paul

      My understanding of the IPhone and all smart phones is that they only offer signal voltage over 3.5mm not the 5V or similar to charge a device. The signal voltage is fine for moving the tiny speakers in earphones etc but it's not enough to power the DMA's in the Sound Band. It's like trying to run a 15" speaker from your phone with no amplifier. There is not enough power from the phone to run a speaker that size.

      What the stretch goal was is that there would be only one connector to offer charging and audio input rather than having 2 separate connectors.

      What I suggested now the 3.5mm is causing size issues is that a Micro USB connector be considered. The advantage is that you could likely charge and feed audio at the same time and still only have a single connector. The other advantages are that it's small and a more common for charging. Google Glass uses the same technology and I find it works well.

      Hope that helps you understand.

    2. Creator Denis Surkov on February 15, 2014

      @Chris C
      Oh, sorry, my bad... I just read update wrong... I'm ok with a cable I guess (as long as it common)

    3. Creator Paul Quick on February 15, 2014

      So there will be no charging while in use via the 2.5mm jack as planned in the stretch goal? So If the battery dies, I'd have to have it plugged into the wall instead of drawing on my iPhones battery via the cord or have to wait for it to charge?

    4. Creator Luke Kane on February 13, 2014

      @ Sarah

      I thought that too until I read the home page of the project. It became a newer version in my opinion when the stretch goals were achieved. Well that's the way I read it and understood it. In saying that it may be my understanding of Electronics and knowing that additions or subtractions to a PCB takes time and modifications can mean redesigning them all together.

      I think the other thing to consider about the project is that it received more than 3 times the amount that was expected or required was put up for the project by us all. I've never attempted something to this scale on spec, where I would be relying on public support. I can understand the need for putting together a workable product that is still reasonably priced to be able to sell it. You can't afford to dig yourself into debt making the product ready for consumers if it's unaffordable. That said when the support is there and the money allows it then I would certainly look at the additions I couldn't make in the first instance that I could now feasibly offered.

      @Hybra Ryan,

      As I said to you today the size by a few millimeters doesn't worry me and as you were saying today the size of the "dongle" would be the same as V4 with the 3.5mm connection. I was thinking just now about the fact that we all were ok (based on the fact we backed it) on the size of the V4 dongle, so if push comes to shove it would probably be ok. I realize the size increase in thickness may be unused to some degree but it dawned on me you may be able to make that more useable with a higher capacity battery or something similar. The other thing I was wondering about was the possibility of using a Micro USB Connector like Google Glass and some of the newer devices. You can then use a standard USB cable to recharge it, then use an adapter like this: http://goo.gl/4Y18wc for 3.5mm. It would make charging easy and that way and still allow a for a 3.5mm when needed. If Google Glass can fit it in less than 10mm x 8mm then you should be able to as well and it might solve all your problems. Anyway just a thought I had after our discussion today when I took my Glass off.

    5. Creator Sarah Dixon on February 13, 2014

      Whilst I have no doubt that Hybra are working on "something", the fact still remains that there was NEVER a V4 that was "Production ready".

      This was the WHOLE basis of the campaign. This was not about raising funds for R&D, this was raising funds to put the V4 into production and get it into the hands of those that pledged for the various reward tiers.

      You can harp on about how many people may have wanted improvements, but this will not change the fact that you are no where near a completed and manufactured product and therefore your campaign was in essence a lie.

    6. Creator David on February 13, 2014

      Well, I'm a bit disappointed in the move to a 2.5mm. I would prefer it stay to a 3.5mm jack but it looks like the decision has been made and it will not change. Let me add a small request. Include two decent cables. Yes, two cables. One for home and one for travel. By decent, I mean gold plated connectors, rubberized or woven non-tangle 48" or 54" cables. Good, branded, and attractive strain relief.

      I don't like the decision, but to me it is small disappointment. I'm still looking forward to my new headset.

    7. Creator Hybra Advance Technology, Inc. on February 13, 2014

      Please let us clear up the concerns regarding the use of the 2.5mm jack port. The decision was made for the greater good of the project. Sound Band will be smaller and more efficient, as promised, that was/is the goal. The explanation below might come across a bit long winded, we are just trying to be transparent and thorough.

      The Sound Band will be used primarily via Bluetooth and the jack was only for the unique occasions that a user was not accepting of the performance of the Codec to reduce millisecond latency inherent with Bluetooth when using the headset for both audio and video. For most, the milliseconds of delay, will not be noticeable and would never refer to the jack. Also, you cannot charge the Sound Band through the jack, so it is only for streaming audio if you so choose to do so instead of through Bluetooth.

      The reason for choosing the 2.5mm jack is simple: board dimensions. We are doing everything we can to make the smallest board possible. A mid-mount 3.5mm phone jack is over 17 mm in length and 8.6mm wide (requiring additional mm of board for buffering); using one would dictate that it be the largest determining element on the Sound Band 5 card and enclosure dimensions and would significantly grow the x, y, and z, dimensions. Every optional layout using a 3.5mm jack rendered an unnecessarily large board...larger than the previous board actually.

      The only other option for us to keep the main printed circuit card small would be to employ a proprietary miniature connector of our own, such as a 4 pin Molex connector, but that would entail more expense for everyone and eliminate the possibility of commercially available audio cables that are otherwise available with 2.5mm and 3.5mm connections built in. This seems like an unwise choice for many reasons, and that is why we have decided not to go down that path.

      There will be no difference in audio quality using a 4 conductor 2.5mm audio jack vs. a 4 conductor 3.5mm audio jack: the electrical connections made to the user's iPhone, computer, etc., are *identical*. Left channel, right channel, microphone & ground (return) are all connected between a users' headset and handset regardless of jack dimensions.

      Where folks may get confused relates to the various standards that have been used in the industry to assign these signals to the tip, the two rings, and the sleeve (TRRS) contacts on the plug and jack. We will be assigning TRRS signals based on the CTIA standard as it has the widest adoption for the newest smartphones, pc's and tablets, specifically products made by Apple and Samsung. Some manufacturers have chosen to adopt proprietary signal assignments and may have incompatible audio jacks. Folks with older or other non-standard devices will have to construct their own cable if they want to connect it to Sound Band, as would be the case using an old Nokia phone, for example.

      For modern handsets, tablets, and computers, there are several ways to have a physical connection between a device with a 3.5mm jack and a device such as Sound Band with a 2.5mm jack including:
      Using a 3.5mm to 2.5mm audio cable (which will be included with each Sound Band)
      Using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable inserted into a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter
      Using a 3.5mm to 3.5mm audio cable inserted into a 3.5mm to 2.5mm adapter cable
      Using a 2.5mm to 2.5mm audio cable inserted into a 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter
      All of these options are inexpensive and easily purchased on-line from any number of vendors. A quick Google search reveals many inexpensive choices.
      Again, a 3.5mm to 2.5mm cable will be included with your Sound Band.
      We hope that clears up the concern regarding the change to a 2.5mm jack. Again, please understand we’re making these decisions for the greater good of the project.

    8. Creator Hybra Advance Technology, Inc. on February 13, 2014

      @ Luke
      Thank you for your sincere interest in making Sound Band a better product and this space one of progress and forward thought. I too enjoyed our conversation this evening and really do appreciate your constructive suggestions. I think my post that follows explains our reasoning behind the 2.5mm port quite well but please, let us know if you (or any other backer) have additional thoughts.
      Ryan

    9. Creator Luke Kane on February 13, 2014

      Today I had a great phone chat with Ryan from Hybra.

      I called Ryan for some clarity about the 3.5mm issue and some other questions. He said he's going to put out a response to some of the comments soon and I'll let him fill everyone in with regards to that.
      I now have a better understanding on the issues that have been mentioned in this update and some of the other updates.

      Ryan and the team seem to be doing the best they can and from our conversation I have a better understanding of how some of the delays are occurring. The sound bands are being made in the USA and while they are using professional company's for work such as the Plastic Molding. It's inevitable that all new products have teething problems and now I have a better understanding of what was happening.

      With the 3.5mm audio input I now have a better understanding of the reasoning behind the change. I don't love the change to the 2.5mm but as Ryan pointed out you will still need the battery to operate the sound band and with the newer Bluetooth chip the delay will be almost non-existent. The only real need for the cable option is when you need to avoid the milliseconds of delay from the Bluetooth or on devices that don't have Bluetooth. I would still like for the audio input be standard and I made some suggestions that may allow for a 3.5mm socket to be on the sound band. Hopefully Ryan and the team will look into my suggestions as an alternative option.

      The other thing I wanted to say that personally attacking or making non constructive criticism isn’t appropriate in my opinion and isn’t helping the process of at all. After talking to Ryan I now realize how much it’s happened in previous update comments because I hadn’t read that many of them until today. The reality is 4 people are working to make something that’s quite revolutionary and new. The leading edge of technology takes time to perfect and while some people say they should’ve have been done before Kickstarter you have to remember what Kickstarter’s for. The idea from my understanding is to give creators a way to fund their project and make it happen without the need to big business backing. Many big businesses don’t want to fund projects that aren’t going to make them large amounts of money quickly. They also tend to want to buy the rights to the product or idea paying very little for them and making huge amounts from them later.

      Kickstarter is allowing people to control their creations and giving them a way to make them a reality. In my experience some projects on Kickstarter have been almost complete and ready to go all they needed was funding for the first run, other projects are still in R&D like sound band. The sound band project had proof of concept and early versions but when you really look at the details from the start it was clear there were still needs for more R&D. Did we expect them to be ready sooner?, Yes but the upgrades possible because of the success on Kickstarter will lead to a better product in the long run.

      Ultimately I think the best way to help the sound band team is to be constructive in our criticism and offer support for the project. Clearly if you backed sound band you like the concept and want to see it be the best possible product. You will be one of the few people in the world to have speaker less headphones and that will undoubtedly be impressive.

      For Ryan and the Team:
      I suggested to you on the phone today that videos and photos would likely help us have a better understanding of the problems you’re experiencing and the processes being used to fix them. I think the more detailed and open the information we get the better we’ll feel. While it seems like most of us are nerds not everyone is necessarily going to understand the technical sides of the updates.
      Additionally listening to backers especially those of us who have knowledge relating to electronics may help you. I realize you can’t have hundreds of people putting in their two cents but using the skills of those who already support the project will likely help you in the long run. It seems clear from the comments that there are about 6 or so people who have skills in the electronics field so maybe keeping them in mind for advice or their thoughts on changes would be good.

      Thanks for reading this and I hope we can become a little more positive in the comments from now on,
      Luke

    10. Creator Max Sablosky on February 11, 2014

      Of all the projects I have backed this is definitely the biggest let down, every update is either a problem or an issue that should have been fixed by September 13th, and to say you will be ready with a beta by April or March is ridiculous, the entire project is beta it's like a comedy of errors. How do you not have a finalized PCB and who thinks about making headphones with 2.5mm jack is this going to connect to my Nokia 3310?

    11. Creator Ikalios on February 10, 2014

      I'm not happy about the 2.5mm jack but at least they give an adapter. I would have been mad if that wasn't the case. But I don't see how this is cost effective and having another cable isn't great. 3.5 jack made everyone happy and wasn't that complicated to install if I read the old update. I hope at least that the Bluetooth will stay. I don't want to sound negative or angry.

    12. Creator Luke Kane on February 10, 2014

      @ Chris C. Yes you would always have a cable but it's an additional cable that would need to be carried. It's a cable that for me much like I imagine others won't fit anything else they own.
      I don't know about the US but here in Australia the availability of 2.5mm - 3.5mm cables is limited at best. Common shops such as Big W, K Mart and other don't stock them as they are non standard. You would need a specialty store such as Jaycar (like Radio Shack in the US) or JB HIFI. They are easy to find in the city's but outside them they are almost nonexistent. A 3.5mm cable on the other hand can be found at almost every petrol station, supermarket and electronics shop in the country. I know this because I have picked them up on the go before and they are easy to find everywhere.
      Much like @ mko_san siad below it's all good to have the feature but useless unless you remember to take the non standard cable.

      Additionally I think the delays and changes are wearing on some of us backers. We all expected these to be delivered in December 2013 and with good positive additions that were promised as stretch goals we were happy to wait. Now some of these newest changes are not making positive change and if anything devaluing the product in my opinion. Everyone (almost 4000 people) went in backing this in good faith but now I'm seriously wondering about it being worthwhile.

    13. Creator Andrew Kemp on February 9, 2014

      I'd have to go with the rest of the band wagon here...3.5mm is so much more robust, and better.

    14. Creator Prince Viwatthanasittiphong on February 9, 2014

      Please, reconsider the 3.5mm jack. there are a lot more high quality cable with 3.5 to 3.5 than 2.5 to 3.5mm jack. I'm sure that most of us backers are music lovers and we're sometimes wanted to do a little tinkering with our listening device so we might upgrade our cable and 3.5mm jack just make everything more comfortable for us.

      Other than that, keep up your work guys, I don't care if I get it lare but all I want is the best of your products. 'Explain' what makes the progress go so slow but DON'T reduce the quality or omit to test your product.

    15. Creator Chris C on February 9, 2014

      @mko_san and @Denis Surkov
      I'm sorry I just don't get it, I must me missing something, I'm not being difficult I just don't.

      If you are using it Bluetooth you unplug the cable so you don't care.
      If you are using it with the cable they are providing you plug it in and it fits 3.5mm devices.
      They are not saying adapter as I too would be angry, they are saying cable.

      So please explain why it matters so much between a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable against a 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable, either way your carrying a cable.

    16. Creator mko_san on February 9, 2014

      @Chris C
      Going along this train of thought - how about they remove bluetooth connectivity and add it as pluggable dongle? It would make design slimmer, and it's just an extra dongle you have to carry around.

      2.5mm jack is a joke, most headphones user standard 3.5mm jack and fo this port to be useful it has to be 3,5mm. It's like with micro HDMI port on my smartphone - nobody ever has an adapter cable when I would like it to connect it to a tv or monitor.

    17. Creator Denis Surkov on February 9, 2014

      Seriously? 2.5mm jack? How many 2.5mm devices do you have? Because I have none.
      Removing 1mm from the board, and adding another 30mm of an adapter - great, real upgrade here...

    18. Creator Chris C on February 9, 2014

      @Luke Kane.
      Sorry my friend I still don't get it !!
      You were always going to have to carry a cable so why does it matter what connectors are on each end.
      It's hardly non standard because you can pick them up almost anywhere.
      USA : Any Best Buys
      UK : Any Currys/PC World

      I've been very critical about most of Hybra's decisions but this one does appear a little unfair especially when backers asked them to make the fob section slimmer.

    19. Creator Rand Chua TL on February 9, 2014

      Hmmm wonder why got 18 people like this update?

    20. Creator Luke Kane on February 9, 2014

      Chris C. In my personal experience keeping a special cable for a device is impractical on the go. Additionally cables over time inevitably reak inside requiring replacement.
      Having a non standard type means you would need to find a place that stocks them. In part this is why newer phones & tablets all use standard usb and audio output. They become cross compatible and easy to travel with etc.
      *
      With your headphones my guess is that they are not a type with wireless options so the cable is always connected thus not creating an issue for you.

      Derek. I was starting to wonder about the T&C's with regards to this so thanks for finding them. I agree 3.5mm was specifically set during the time for people to back the product (or backout) so it seems it must be honoured.

    21. Creator Chris C on February 9, 2014

      Have I missed something here?
      Are they not saying that the Sound Band will come with a 2.5mm to 3.5mm cable?
      In reality you will unplug the cable when your using Bluetooth and then connect the cable when connecting wired to an audio device.
      Why do you care what size the socket is on the Sound Band end?
      I have a pair of Bose Noise Cancelling headphones and they have a 2.5mm socket and come with the cable also, I've used them for years without issue
      I really don't see why this is such a massive issue.

    22. Creator Yorik on February 9, 2014

      Here's the section for you..

      "Is a creator legally obligated to fulfill the promises of their project?
      Yes. Kickstarter's Terms of Use require creators to fulfill all rewards of their project or refund any backer whose reward they do not or cannot fulfill. (This is what creators see before they launch.) We crafted these terms to create a legal requirement for creators to follow through on their projects, and to give backers a recourse if they don't. We hope that backers will consider using this provision only in cases where they feel that a creator has not made a good faith effort to complete the project and fulfill."

      You promised 3.5mm... 2.5mm is not an upgrade.. Either delivery 3.5mm to everyone or refund.

    23. Creator Yorik on February 9, 2014

      "upgrade from the 3.5mm jack to a 2.5mm jack"
      This is not an upgrade! This is a downgrade. Incompatibility, mechanical strength and shear stupidity.

      Plus, you are now going against your promise of the 3.5mm Jack used during the campaign as a stretch goal. See Update #5 amongst others.

      You've continuously devalued the product, spat in the face of your backers and this is unnacceptable.

      Where is that report to Kickstarter button??

    24. Creator Mario da Silva on February 8, 2014

      I wanted Bluetooth, now what happened to it? I was OK with 3.5mm jacks already. 2.5mm are not robust. What you could have done is put out the first generation Sound Band already, in the past six months, and now begin a Version 2.0 with the newer design like other Kickstarters have done. We could have had the best of two worlds and WE could have backed BOTH!... instead we're still waiting patiently for the first one, only because SOME of us are still curious. I hope you haven't lost any backers already. Good Luck.

    25. Creator Zack Heins on February 8, 2014

      3.5mm! 2.5mm is useless.

    26. Creator Jai Nelson on February 8, 2014

      Well if we're voting on the connector again then I'd request we get rid of it and go back to Bluetooth only and save lots of space that way. Would also please those complaining and having to carry around an extra cable and lack or portability as then there'd be no cables at all !

    27. Creator Randy King on February 8, 2014

      I also have a preference for 3.5mm.... having another cable takes away from portability and ease of use which was a large plus for this product.

    28. Creator Marc on February 8, 2014

      +1 for 3.5mm. But I also agree that it's just an extra as the original design was solely bluetooth.

    29. Creator Nanette Minichiello on February 8, 2014

      IMPORTANCE : To work at making your Product the MOST envious and efficient product on the market .... Stay proud and DON'T LOOSE focus !!
      WE WANT THE BEST for YOU & US .... after all that's why we backed u !!

    30. Creator Paul R. Dillinger on February 8, 2014

      +1 for keeping the 3.5mm jack. Converter (that damn near everything would have to use) means one more thing to carry around and lose. In the end it make the thing bigger and junkier.

    31. Creator Bruce W Skakle on February 8, 2014

      Get rid of the adapter altogether and just stick with bluetooth as originally stated.

    32. Creator BJ Van Gundy on February 8, 2014

      2.5 is ridiculous. Not an "upgrade". Let me google that for you: http://lmgtfy.com/…

      This only demonstrates that the product is not being optimized for premium use but for expeditiousness. Scared of what other corners are now being cut that we won't know about.

    33. Creator Bruce Kramer on February 8, 2014

      2.5 is not an upgrade when you need a cable. Again redundant input but I have seen no comment from the project team.

    34. Creator Malc Foy on February 8, 2014

      3.5mm please. Honestly a brand new proprietary port would be preferable to 2.5mm! Stick with the classic.

    35. Creator Steve LeVine on February 8, 2014

      As others have mentioned please stick with the standard 3.5mm jack. For me this is actually a more important feature then having Bluetooth. Having to use an adapter becomes a pain and also very likely will degrade the sound quality which will defeat the whole purpose of getting this product.

    36. Creator Z on February 8, 2014

      I hopped on Kickstarter to say that I would very much prefer a 3.5mm jack to a 2.5mm, but after reading some of the other comments, my input seems a bit redundant.

    37. Creator Kalus on February 8, 2014

      I like those detailed updates. I appreciate that you're getting the circuit up to date. The #Reset-signal shall have any kind of a pull-up. If it's inside the part, it's OK to leave it unconnected

    38. Creator Ian White on February 8, 2014

      Please reconsider the 2.5mm socket.

    39. Creator Paul Quick on February 8, 2014

      +1 for 3.5mm and no 2.5. I prefer the quality of 3.5 jacks and their common carry parts. 2.5 is never easy to find and is useless.

    40. Creator Kalus on February 8, 2014

      The quality of 2.5mm sockets are horrible in comparison to the 3.5mm at common smartphones. Please don't implement low quality parts. I don't really think the small size difference counts at your case concept.

    41. Creator Christopher F on February 8, 2014

      With the change to 2.5mm, I'd like to start the process of refunding my pledge, please. Send me an email of who to contact.

    42. Creator Richard Fleming on February 8, 2014

      I'm with Matt - however there are lots of comments pushing to stay at 3.5mm. What are the advantages of going 2.5mm (I presume it relates to the real estate they take up and possible additional weight?)

    43. Creator Matt on February 8, 2014

      @Gary the adapter isn't required by the majority as we pledged for it being solely Bluetooth. I don't care if its 3.5, 2.5 or doesn't exist at all.

    44. Creator Gary Gray on February 8, 2014

      Definitely stay with the standard 3.5 jack. Adapters should be items offered for small sub-sets of your customer base, not REQUIRED by the majority of your customers just to simply use the device. Come on, use your heads, guys!

    45. Creator Steven Green on February 8, 2014

      3.5 jack 2.5 . I agree with the other comments 2.5 is useless. I do not own anything that is or uses a 2.5 jack, and with my memory i would never remember to throw an adapter in my bag. Leave it as 3.5 that's what we all wanted that's what you said you were going to do and we were all happy with. The change to 2.5 from a users point of view is pointless and unwanted. 3.5 was perfectly fine

    46. Creator royblumenthal on February 8, 2014

      3.5mm is what Swype refused to type on my finger's behalf.

    47. Creator royblumenthal on February 8, 2014

      3.5'm jack, please.

    48. Creator lee perring on February 8, 2014

      Please do not change the port to 2.5mm that would be a horrendous choice. You're moving from a standard connection in the mobile space to a non standard one... Sorry but 2.5mm is useless and not worth it even if it reduces the device size by half!

    49. Creator mko_san on February 8, 2014

      +1 for standard 3.5mm. It's a must.
      I would have never pledged if I knew it's not going to be 3.5mm
      2.5 is USELESS, you might as well not put it in at all.

    50. Creator Rand Chua TL on February 8, 2014

      Since you & your team wish to change from 3.5mm to 2.5mm to make it more easy.
      It would totally be different from what backers wished and pledge for.
      I hope to cancel and a refund of my pledge please.