Hello Eve Family!
It’s been a while since the last update on our headphone project. Even though there has been a lot of public focus on Spectrum, there have been a lot of developments behind the scenes for Muse. In fact, we have come upon a whole new approach to this project, and in this topic I want to share it with you and hear your thoughts on it.
Before we dive in
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So what’s going on?
As you can see from the previous posts, we’re already clear on what the crowd wants. With the specs and goals locked down we started discussing the scope of the project with our design partner Propeller, and were trying to decide when best to kick off the industrial design phase. But after seeing the discussions here in our community, our manufacturing partner GrandSun got really excited about the project and has suggested an alternative approach to developing Muse.
Grandsun has suggested that we use their own successful headphones, the Cleer Flow II, as a skeleton on which to build Muse. Cleer Flow II was the product that drew our attention to GrandSun in the first place; I and other members of the team have been using these headphones since April and are very impressed by its build quality and noise canceling performance. Other features like the microphone quality, sound, other features aren’t where we want them yet. But we can Use Cleer Flow II as a starting point and build up from there, replacing the things that don’t match your requirements.
What does that mean for Project: Muse?
Normally, designing a product such as this from start to finish (like we are doing with Spectrum, our monitor project) takes roughly nine months. Most of that time isn’t spent trying to achieve pristine audio quality, perfect noise-canceling or crystal clear voice calls, but rather to develop the actual tooling and mechanical design for such a durable product. If we use the Flow II as a starting point, we could save a lot of time and avoid unnecessary risk when it comes to production. Also, if we can save on development cost, we can pass those savings on to you.
Here’s how it would work:
- We would use some of GrandSun’s existing tooling for internal structures like hinges and the folding mechanisms.
- We would still fully remake remake the internal electronics – processor, amp, mics, DSP, etc. We make sure that the specs and features we decided with you get implemented.
- We would keep some of the design elements of the headphone while redesigning the parts that the community feels need improvement.
The next steps would be:
- We will send out a number of Cleer Flow II’s to community members for initial testing and review, giving us feedback on what you guys think is good about it and what needs work.
- Based on your feedback, we decide what changes need to be made to achieve a level of design and comfort we’re happy with.
- Propeller will start work on the redesign project.
What are the pros and cons of this new approach?
We think it might be a great idea because:
- We will be able to deliver product to market much faster and still offer all the specs people want!
- We don’t fix if it ain’t broken and don’t reinvent the wheel. There are things that work really well in Flow 2, such as the stellar noise canceling performance, great feel of the buttons and a very good overall build quality. We can reuse these strengths as a starting point.
- There is already a mature supply chain in place that would make after sales support much easier, and using tried and tested components we would see fewer defects from day one.
- We can use the existing product to send out units for an early round of community testing, making changes based on your feedback!
We think it might not be a good idea because:
- We will not have as much flexibility in the design as with a project where we build completely from scratch.
So is a fully custom project out of question?
No, its not. The reason we wrote this post is to share this opportunity we were presented with. We are excited about trying different approaches to crowd-development, but at the same time we want to make sure you guys are on board if we are to explore new paths! I am very excited personally, and think it makes a lot of sense. We will finally be able to offer more products developed with eve.community, faster and with less chance of hiccups.
So what to you think, folks? Should we give this idea a try?
- I think this new approach is a good idea
I don’t think this new approach is a good idea
(please comment below why!)