Challenge: Find these headphones!

#21

I don’t want to sound like an egg teaching a chicken, but please don’t underestimate the R&D, hehe… The parts are all dirt cheap, but parts aren’t enough, you need good case design (acoustics), good antenna design, you still want it to look good, and then there’s comfort… I mean it doesn’t look as much as building a tightly integrated tablet computer with latest tech inside, but seeing how most current products are a disaster, I think somehow people tend to underestimate all the design considerations here. If you remember, I once (or maybe more) told you that misaligning the USB ports on either sides of the V by some 0.2mm wouldn’t change anything… but in headphones it’s all the opposite, even the most mundane changes can make a differece.

10 Likes
#22

Just a quick blurb that I’m all for a wireless headset but I’d love the 3.5 mm capability built in - would help when flying! But can we look at making the cable more like Beats i.e. less tangle cords (I believe this was a selling point for Beats).

3 Likes
#23

What if we could make battery replaceable?
Something like a slot in which the battery is in and when you press it, it pops out and then you swap it with a fresh one?
That has been charging in the Donald Duck for example :wink:
I still believe that some of the electronic can be placed on top of the head. Away from the magnets and interference that goes on inside the earpiece…
It’s light enough and it would give more room for other things like battery etc.

2 Likes
#24

I do agree with you as regards where to place the electronics. It’s simple, really, too - if you have the electronics on your ears or your head, it doesn’t really matter. The weight is carried by the headband regardless of where it is. We should place the electronics where it’s most convenient and affects sound quality the least. I COULD see the battery going there, however.

Also, as regards battery - I see you’re pulling this from the Mobius. A friend has a pair. side-rant:*(The Mobius sounds FREAKING INCREDIBLE, by the way - I’ve used it with 3D mode talking to a friend, and it sounds like Morgan Freeman narrating my life as the voice inside my head. It’s ludicriously real) The Mobius lasts 10 hours with 3D mode on. It uses a lot of power for 3D mode and processing. There’s a computer in there that does a lot more than ANC - it uses gyroscopes and many motion sensors to form a map of your head in 3D space and make sounds sound ‘real’ - like you’re actually there, in a concert, and as you move your head the sound source changes. I’ve heard it, it’s the real deal. I doubt the majority of power consumption comes from the drivers.

Basically, I think battery is a non-concern if we’re going for just ANC. Besides that, our headphones will work just on the power from a 3.5mm jack when we don’t want or need ANC. What’s the longest normal use case for ANC usage? A long flight? Let’s say 10 hours total. If we can hit 15hr battery life with ANC on, for example, then that leaves plenty of room for battery degradation and still being comfortable with remaining life.

This leaves cost. If we can source planar drivers at a reasonable price, I think it’s worth investigating really how much power they would use and how they would sound. I know for a fact that those audio review sites would go ballistic for a set of wireless planar headphones with the features we’ve described, especially if they look awesome and are under even $250 - and I know we’re aiming for $200 maximum.

3 Likes
#25

You hit the nail on the head. Execution is CRITICAL with headphones. We need to be really careful not to hit any pain points.

Some things off the top of my head:

Pad type. Personally, I’s suggest we use either velour pads or a combination of leather and velour (this has been done before to good effect). Here’s a quote from a head-fi user:

"Generally fabric pads (“velour”) mean less isolation, but also less sweat/sticking (like fabric interiors in cars vs leather/vinyl). Sealed pads (leather, pleather, vinyl, etc) will offer better isolation and a better seal, at the expense of some comfort (depending on the material - genuine leather will actually breathe, but genuine leather is fairly rare for headphones). Generally changing from one to another (or even changing pad shape) will ensure a change in overall sound, as earpads make a fairly large impact on sound. "

Clamping force. This is very important when they’re being worn for a long time. Bose and Sennheiser seem to have this down pat. I can wear my HD559s for many hours without discomfort, so can my SO with a considerably different head size/shape.

Cord length/type. 5-6ft is ideal, having used anywhere from a 5ft cable to a 15ft cable. Braided cable is the obvious practical choice, but isn’t very comforting. It feels utilitarian. Relatively soft, thick polyurethane cable with a good, non-stick finish on the outside is optimal in my mind. Cables with a lot of friction on the outside tend to tangle, and if they’re too stiff then they become very difficult to manage especially in cold weather. Do we want a locking cable for a better usage experience, or a standard 3.5mm to 3.5mm for compatibility?

Headband. Do we want a regular headband, or a suspension-syle headband? I don’t know enough to answer this question.

We already addressed open-back vs closed-back.

3 Likes
#26

Found these:
TREBLAB Z2 :slightly_smiling_face:

They have:

ANC
high battery life (advertised 35 hrs)
3.5 mm cable for music
aptx HD
Great Audio Quality
Have mics ()
Have Water Resistance IPX4
Comfortable

And the best part currently for $90

A review:

What they don’t have mainly:

USB - C (have micro usb)
Bluetooth 5.0 (hace 4.2)
Foldable design
Not sure about other things didn’t have that time to check more.

But I believe for $90 they have a great deal of things.

1 Like
#27

If you want my opinion on headbands, take a look at Audio Technica AD900x :slight_smile: there is only one problem - the clamping force (of those headband “wings”) is not adjustable and they start to give in with time. That would need to be somehow addressed. But it’s way better than any traditional headband I’ve tried (actually, even the suspension one you showed), because no matter how soft it is, those things start hurting the top of my head after a while. This “wing” type headband does not hurt anything, ever, and it doesn’t need much clamping force on the ear cups to compensate. They also rotate freely so they adapt to the shape of everyone’s head.

Some pros and cons of each from my personal experience:

Traditional
pros:

  • can be worn under a hood
  • does not catch on things
  • looks nice and discreet

cons:

  • hurts
  • does not adjust to the shape of head

Suspension

pros:

  • “automagically” adjusts to each head

cons:

  • still hurts sometimes
  • the “structural support” thingies can catch on random things (tree branches?) when you walk
  • doesn’t look discreet
  • can’t be worn under a hood

Wings

pros:

  • adapts to the shape of head even better
  • the most comfortable thing I’ve ever tried - only gets slightly uncomfortable after something like 8 hours of usage, or if being worn laid down in bed
  • does not concentrate the whole clamping force at the top of the head, instead it’s spread across both ear cups and the wings

cons:

  • pretty much same as suspension
  • the springs start to give in after several hours, but I guess that can be solved with a little engineering. Also, people with small heads complain the wings are too soft and vice versa. All this just screams for adjustable tension.

Oh and I also think a lot of problems would be solved by making the “structural support” thingies also adjustable. The design requires them to be big and wide just in case someone with a big head puts them on, but I think they could be made retractable somehow.

4 Likes
#28

the electronics can go into either ear cup, but I think they should be careful not to shift the center of mass too much to either side. That would be uncomfortable.

2 Likes
#29

On the V even the misaligned - or rather different - upper USB-C-port changed a lot :smiley:
And I completely agree with you. Sound design is incredibly complex and having something resonating the sound waves that shouldn’t do that or not properly isolating anything can make the whole device garbage.

4 Likes
#30

May I suggest Alcantara pads just because the V had it? :smiley:

1 Like
#31

Totally agree with over the ear phones.
But man here, at 34C / 86F . . . . . sweaty.
Please no moist absorbent -it stinks- pads.

1 Like
#32

Is there a better option? Or do you prefer sweating? :wink: I guess it’s either absorption or sweating. And you can wash your pads anytime (Eve will have to make sure the foam is washing machine safe)

2 Likes
#33

I thought my ‘faux leather’ earpads were good but after 10 years they too “dried” out and went white and cracked, leaving bits all over. Let’s try to avoid this in the project

#34

I mean 10 years is a long time. I’d be okay with buying new pads after 10 years

3 Likes
#35

faux leather has always been a… wet experience for me :smile:

1 Like
#36

Mine went dust and flaky in one year, :sob:

#37

I hate headphones :unamused:
Every time I wear those, I hear a nagging mumbling voice…
And I see my wife waving hands towards me…
Mouth moving…
Things throwing…
Knifes flaying…
I hate headphones :unamused:

5 Likes
#38

Taotronics BH060 - Just bought a budget set for my wife (she hates spending too much on tech). Paid £50 but they’ve been as low as £43 when on sale (bad timing on my part but hey it’s for her birthday!

Have:

  • Bluetooth 5.0
  • Replacable earpads
  • Battery life 15h+ (keep light in mind) this thing has 25+ hrs and also has quick charge, 5 mins charge gives 2 hrs use
  • 3,5 mm cable for music
  • Play music when out of battery through AUX
  • ANC
  • Foldable design for compact storage
  • Comfortable for long time period

Doesn’t have:

  • USB-C for charging - micro USB isn’t that bad a compromise
  • Wow Audio Quality - adequate for average consumers but generally well rated by media at this price point
  • Clear noise cancelling mics for calls
  • APTx HD, LDAC and other codecs
  • Charge and play music (I don’t really know what this is)
  • Easy audio switching between devices easy pairing experience

Additionally:
Has a nice semi rigid case
Quite light at 8 something oz. There is an older model too which is 7.7 oz (BH022) but you sacrifice BT5.0 and quick charge
Reviews say video latency is fine

Oh yeah did I mention it was £50!!

2 Likes
#39

There’s a lot missing here. However; the takeaway here though is that this device has Bluetooth 5.0. If they can do it, we can do it!

I also like the fact that it comes with a case. We really should have this as a part of the Eve headphones.

That’s a good price point. Different class of device but looks very solid for what it is.

1 Like
#40

A great new Contender, Jabra Elite 85h on the higher end $299, but worth checking.

https://www.jabra.in/bluetooth-headsets/jabra-elite-85h