Skybuds are completely wireless earbuds

{ 3 comments }

Alpha-Skybuds-1

The notion of only having small earbuds in each ear, without cords of any kind, should make many activities where cord management and cord noise are problematic, such as running or exercising, more enjoyable and immersive.  There are a few players in this relatively new field of gadget, notably: Bragi, Earin, Motorola, and BÖHM. Skybuds, manufactured by Alpha Audiotronics, Inc., are now available for pre-sale ordering. So what makes this product stand out? 

First of all, all of the wireless (or untethered) earbuds are highly sophisticated devices; the speaker, electronics, battery, and antenna must all occupy a very small area. In addition, the signal to each ear must remain synchronized for a proper stereo effect. Skybuds have expanded the technological envelope of these types of devices by incorporating Near Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) into the design.  Their successfully funded Kickstarter page from last year describes the design by stating,

“The earbuds communicate to one another through NFMI. The “leader” earbud connects to the phone via Bluetooth.”

NFMI has distinct advantages over FM when transmitting through water-containing objects (like your head). And don’t worry about the dangers of installing these under your tin-foil hat, because focused magnetic fields are used in MRI’s and hearing aids. So, the promise of a lower-power, higher-fidelity signal than Bluetooth make these earbuds ones to watch. You can pre-order a set of Skybuds for $249.99. There are no details about when they will ship.

Posted in: Audio, Video, TV, Bluetooth Gear, News
{ 3 comments… add one }
  • Alan Claver July 20, 2016, 5:49 pm

    A lot of unhappy folks on their Kickstarter page. I find it disturbing how you promote Kickstarter or other crowd sourced products like they were a) really available and b) backed by a reputable company.

    You need to find some way to visually indicate to readers that you’re referencing a crowd sourced product that may or may not exist.

    • Julie Strietelmeier July 20, 2016, 6:10 pm

      Alan, I’ve been consolidating 99% of the crowdfunding news that I receive into a weekly notable crowdfunding campaigns posts that I usually publish on Monday’s. These posts are tagged with a news and crowdfunded tag. I was going to include Howard’s Skybuds news in that post but then I saw that the campaign ended last year, so I assumed they were selling via their own online store now so I counted this as regular product news.

    • Howard Sneider July 20, 2016, 11:33 pm

      The news article clearly states: “You can pre-order a set of Skybuds for $249.99. There are no details about when they will ship.” Pre-order means that they are not available. There is no indication that this item was obtained or reviewed in the article.

      There are a number of complaints on the kickstarter page about how the design of the product changed significantly from conceptual to final design. I was only reporting on the final design, not the conceptual model.

      Alpha Audiotronics, Inc., the makers of skybuds, was incorporated in 2014 and is based in New York, New York. Granted that they are a start-up company bringing their first product to market. But, The fact that they have expended two years of effort into bringing this device to market significantly enhances the reputation of their company over a start-up that starts a campaign on Kickstarter with just a business plan.

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