ASome transform your ordinary headset into awesome Bluetooth headset

It would be nice to add Bluetooth functionality to the earphones one already owns and loves to use.

ASome is an audio adapter that attaches to earbuds or headphones and adds Bluetooth functionality that enables them to be used with smartphones and other portable music devices. It comes equipped with a Qualcomm aptX chipset and a 210mAh battery that provides 10 hours of playback on a full charge, its makers say. ASome also features a multi-pairing feature via Bluetooth 4.1, allowing users to connect two devices simultaneously.

Connected Objects Music

Harsaa multi-function earbuds offer NFC, sleep monitoring and more

There are many earbuds on the market, but few of them aspire to offer many features beyond good quality audio.

Harsaa are noise-cancelling Bluetooth earbuds that include NFC and emergency messaging, and also track activity and monitor sleep. As part of its NFC tap-and-go sharing feature, users just have to swipe the earbuds over their smartphones to transfer any information they choose.


RippleBuds out to send ripples through earbuds market with noise-blocking technology

Bluetooth earbuds are enormously handy for both listening to music and conducting hands-free phone conversations. But it’s often hard to hear the music or people talking on the phone due to all the outside noise that often can’t be avoided.

patent-claimedRippleBuds are noise-blocking Bluetooth earbuds with a built-in microphone that solves that dilemma. Its makers have replaced the mouthpiece found in most headsets with a microphone that fits invisibly inside the ear. Most of the patents its makers have for the product cover its core technologies that reduces echo and howling sounds when the speaker and microphone are placed closely together inside the earbuds.

Health and Wellness Technology

Nervana earbuds makes any tune feel-good music

As the old saying goes, music can soothe the savage beast. Certainly, at the very least, the right music can relax listeners and make them happy.

Nervana takes that concept a step further. It’s a nerve stimulator with patent-pending earbuds that syncs to music and releases natural chemicals in the human body that generate pleasure. Nervana generates a gentle electrical signal that is transmitted to the surface of the left earbud on what looks like a standard earbud assembly.

When the left earbud is placed in the left ear and the Nervana generator is turned on, the electrical signal beats to whatever music is being experienced by the user, whether supplied to the generator through a user’s phone or through the environment, such as in a concert hall.  The electrical signal stimulates the body’s vagus nerve, which could result in the release of neurotransmitters, the body’s natural feel-good messengers.

Music Wearables

Helix bracelet touts extractable Bluetooth earbuds

Just because earbuds are easier to travel with than standard headphones doesn’t mean that carrying them is so simple. After all, earbud cords frequently get tangled, especially when they are thrown in the bottom of a pocket or purse. They also have a tendency to get misplaced.

patent-claimedOut to resolve that dual dilemma is Helix, a bracelet that comes with extractable stereo earbuds. The earbuds are easy to extract from the bangle and because their cords are so short, they won’t get tangled like typical earbud cables. The earbuds can then be connected to the user’s smartphone via Bluetooth. Helix will ship in December at $199, although early bird Kickstarter backers can get it at pricing that starts at $99. Its makers set a Kickstarter goal of raising $100,000 by Sept. 18.

The design of Helix is simple and appealing enough so that men and women might not mind wearing it as an everyday bracelet. It also does indeed seem to solve the problem of making it easy to travel with earbuds without the cords getting tangled up. Helix, meanwhile, definitely makes it much harder to misplace earbuds. One problem, however, is that — like most audio products being sold through crowdfunding sites — there is no way to tell from its campaign video alone just how good its sound quality is.


Backerjack Podcast #18: Smarter Water and Hear Factors

We’re back! In Episode 18 of the Backerjack Podcast, Steve and Ross check out some of the latest products seeking funds and preorders:

  • HidrateMe and Trago, two smart water bottles that can personalize their hydration advice.
  • Here, an unprecedented wireless audio tuning device for the real world that allows you to adjust settings such as volume and tone — helpful for when you’re not all about the bass.

Notes: In the podcast, Ross tried to remember the name of the Backerjack feature that pitted similar campaigns head-to-head. It was The Back-Off.

Download  the episode or listen below, subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and follow Backerjack on Twitter and Facebook. Also check out Steve’s great work on Apple World Today!


Here earbuds let you tune how you hear the world

In the beginning there was the volume control, and it was good — so good in fact that it launched an infinite number of ways to tune and distort audio. But there was always a catch. The audio had to be playing through some kind of device, whether it be a transistor radio, CD player or iPhone.

But now, for the first time, people will be able to apply some of the same adjustments they’ve made to recorded audio to real-life audio via Here Active Listening earbuds. Somewhat of an equalizer for the real world, the Heres use a digital signal processor to allow you to not only tune people out, but change their bass and treble settings as well as a host of other options. The app comes equipped with a number of settings to take into account prolonged aural unpleasantness such as a baby crying or a being in a plane.


Backerjack Podcast #17: Going Kleer, Frankencases, and Android boomboxes

In sweet Episode 17 of the Backerjack Podcast, Steven Sande and Ross Rubin check out some of the latest products seeking funds and preorders:

  • HearNotes, an alternative to Bluetooth headsets that offer higher audio quality and a more reliable connection.
  • Nexpaq, a case for the iPhone and Galaxy S6 that can accommodate up to six modules ranging from flash memory to an alcohol breathalyzer
  • Zwing, a boombox with punch that incorporates an Android-based touchscreen for streaming or playing back local music and movies.

Notes: We discussed Zwing in advance of seeing its Indiegogo project page. The link above points to more details about prcing and expected availability. Also, a similar product, the Zettaly Avy, has contacted its original Kickstarter backers to note that it is ready to ship its devices.

Many thanks to HearNotes for sponsoring this episode! Please support its campaign.

Download  the episode or listen below, subscribe via iTunes or RSS, and follow Backerjack on Twitter and Facebook. Also check out Steve’s great work on Apple World Today!


Glow illuminates the beat of your favorite jams while you wear them

It’s amazing how easy it has become to have one’s favorite music available wherever one happens to be. Choice gadgets make it possible to have hundreds of songs available at the touch of a button, and Glow is offering an interesting way to add to one’s music experience.

The device’s laser light earbud wires can be synchronized to one’s favorite jams, or even one’s own heartbeat. It includes five buttons that allow the user to control their music through an Android or iOS app, as well as access apps such as Google Play, YouTube, and Spotify. The negative profile setting allows user to take a nap with their headphones on, and an in-ear design significantly reduces outside noise. The laser light earbud wires will certainly make for an interesting conversation starter when meeting new people. Music lovers might especially enjoy this product for its purportedly crisp sound.

This campaign seeks to raise $100,000 by March 13. For $149, backers get one set of earbuds with an expected delivery in July of this year.


Secure Grip Earphones stay in place while you run your race

Many people enjoy using earphones and listening to their favorite jams while exercising. However, not all earbuds are created equal.

The Secure Grip Earphones system was created with sports lovers and exercise enthusiasts in mind. The product has been designed with a focus that includes where the ear cushion and ear canal meet. Small treads have been added to increase the points of contact with the ear, which also reduces outside noise for a better overall music experience.

Seems like a great idea for indoor activity or at the gym, but using earbuds while exercising outdoors (such as running, cycling or hiking) can put a person at a bigger risk for being victimized by crime or bodily injury. Interested backers might also like to check out MagClip and Tiny Earin. This campaign seeks to raise $10,000 by February 10, 2015. Early bird backers get one product for $15 with an expected delivery of April 2015.