This project's funding goal was not reached on November 8, 2012.
About this project
Check out UPDATE #4, the biggest update so far!
What is it?
The Unmonday 4.3L is an independent Airplay speaker, which features a patented hexagonal porcelain enclosure that delivers superlative sound for the discerning audiophile, all without the messy wiring and cheap plastic parts often found in existing alternatives.
1. Expandable - Build a Mono, Stereo, or Dolby Surround sound system with one, or up to five, hexagonal speakers. For listening to music alone, one speaker may be enough; for listening to music with the neighborhood, five speakers will fill almost any space, wherever that space happens to be. Regardless of the configuration you choose, however, the sound quality remains simply stunning.
2. Portable - Featuring 10 hours of battery life, and a contemporary leather case, portable speakers have never been this stylish or this powerful. The unit does have a certain re-assuring heft, to be sure, but then so does the sound.
3. Quality Built - Unmonday speakers will be made by professional craftsmen from the very best materials, with no visible, cheap-looking plastic parts. The patented hexagonal ceramic housing provides a superlative soundboard for the Alpair 10 full range driver.
4. Durable and Accessible - The porcelain housing is built to last a lifetime, as well as provide an easy access to internal components. Simply open six screws, and the entire speaker can be disassembled, allowing for repair, should your speaker become damaged.
Whatever the situation - movies in surround-sound, gaming in stereo-sound, or music in good old mono - you will never again be subjected to poor sound quality or insufficient volume.
Why another wireless speaker?
Simply put, existing, stationary wireless speakers did not satisfy our own particular listening habits and needs. What we needed was something truly portable and flexible, but also something that did not compromise on sound quality or on good design sensibility.
True portability and flexibility were essential to us. Over the years, we managed to collect several sets of speakers, which now sat idly in most rooms of our house. But this idea - that you need a pair of speakers for your TV, a pair for your computer, and one for your record player - seemed hopelessly outdated and environmentally questionable. We needed a simpler solution, one that would allow us to avoid this over-supply of unnecessary and unconnected speaker systems.
For us, Unmonday is that solution, providing the perfect supply of sound, for every situation.
With Unmonday, for example, you can position single speakers in different rooms of the house during the day, allowing people to listen to their favorite music, in all its mono or stereo goodness; then, in the evening, collect the speakers together to watch a movie in true Dolby Surround Sound.
And Unmonday loves to be social. In planning your next event with your friends, just imagine everyone bringing their speakers along to the party, ready to fill even the largest space with floor-rattling sound.
Listening to music, wherever you find yourself, should not involve a mess of wires or a tiresome, and often mysterious, hardware pairing process. This is why we designed a speaker that aims for simplicity and usability in all things, without compromising on the most important thing: the sound of the music.
We think that once you try Unmonday, all other wireless audio solutions will seem unnecessarily complex.
How is all this done?
We have developed the Unmonday concept, testing different configurations, for more than three years.
We found that Apple's Airplay technology is best suited for our needs. Its simplicity allows for a pleasant and straightforward user experience, and the wireless bandwidth allows for a superior sound quality, especially when compared to other alternatives, including Bluetooth. This also means that our speakers not only expand your aural range, but, like the Airport Express, also expand the range of your wireless network.
We also added a motion sensor, similar to the one found in most tablets and smart phones, to determine the speaker's position. This allows the speaker to be assigned one of five Dolby Surround channels, simply by rotating the device. Of course, we could have made the channel assignment through software, or through hardware buttons, but we knew there must be a better solution, an eventual solution that elegantly embeds the user interface, literally, in the design itself.
Our custom amplifier is made to measure and delivers optimal results from both the ceramic housing's acoustic soundboard, as well as the Alpair 10 driver. Using pre-made parts was simply not an option here.
We will also be releasing a free application for managing multiple speakers. While the application is not intended as the primary interface, it will allow users additional control over their system, for example, adjusting volume or monitoring battery levels on multiple devices.
Throughout the design process, we refused to compromise, which is why we believe Unmonday is unlike any other commercially available wireless speaker system.
- 4.3 Liter Porcelain Housing
- Alpair 10 full range driver
- Wireless router
- Motion Sensor
- Battery life of 10 Hours
- 3.5mm plug
- 1 button (reset)
- 1 wire (charging)
Risks and challenges
We have secured deals with Apple and Dolby on using their technology, we have patents, a supply chain (even packages), and a huge enthusiasm for this project.
There is however one thing to do before we can call this a finished product:
In order to be officially certified by Apple and Dolby, we need to send production-spec speakers to both companies for testing. There is a risk that these test products will not meet their standards and that we will need to make adjustments, and produce a new run. These small production runs will cause delays in our timetable and cost money. However, the end-result will be a fully tested and reliable product.
I understand shipping to the US is free and Europe is as mentioned, what about the rest of the world?
Due to the overwhelming interest in the Unmonday, especially from far-away places, we wanted to clarify our shipping costs:
US: free shipping
Europe: as written
Rest of the world: As Europe (we'll take care of tax & import duties!)
Yes! The newest version of Apple TV supports external Airplay speakers, and works seamlessly with Unmonday speakers.
The Unmonday 4.3L supports full Dolby 5.1 Surround. There are no arbitrary channels formed from a stereo input, just the 5 original channels of the Dolby system. There is even a subwoofer in the works for the added oomph of the .1
We will ship each speaker with a single wire. This wire will be chosen to fit your electrical system based on the country you live in. It can be left attached to the speaker for as long as you wish, or just for the duration of charging.
- (30 days)