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!


HearNotes offers hi-fi earbuds from out of the Bluetooth

Historically, enjoyment of hi-fidelity images has conjured up rooms with racks of equipment, speakers as tall as an NBA guard, and a deep seat that evokes memories of vintage Maxell commercials. But even audiophiles have not been immune to the demands that being on the go places on listening pleasure. There are many contenders among high-end wired headphones that cater to the discriminating listener, but most of the wireless products have been plagued by a range of issues, including that they’re often not truly wireless.

HearNotes has sought escape from the constraints of Bluetooth by tapping a dormant audio technology called Kleer. Kleer was developed expressly for the purpose of transmitting uncompressed hi-fi stereo music at low power. Beyond quality improvements versus Bluetooth, it claims better resistance to interference. However, because Kleer isn’t ubiquitous in smartphones the way Bluetooth is, the company has had to develop a tiny transmitter that plugs into the headphone jack. This also means that, unlike with some Bluetooth earbuds, you won’t be able to quickly switch into a phone call should one disturb your jam.

To minimize the inconvenience of transmitter, the company has created a little storage box that charges the transmitter and completely wire-free left and right earbud for about four hours of blissful listening. HearNotes has also put a good spin on the need for the transmitter, noting that it offers virtually universal compatibility, even with devices such as some MP3 players  and even old portable CD players that lack Bluetooth.