We spent the last month in China working hand in hand with our new suppliers. I am happy to announce that it was time well spent as it has yielded the results that we all have long waited for.
Let me tell you about the progress below.
Alright, the back & forth with the suppliers we explained in the last update took longer than expected, mainly because the base material we requested for our PCB is quite uncommon. The suppliers came up with creative ways to address this challenge. We also checked their source files frequently during the interactions so they would build the PCBs just as we requested.
We curated three suppliers. One shipped boards that did not work, the second has not shipped and the third shipped outstanding PCBs. We will quickly test the second one when they arrive for comparison to the third great ones.
On the great PCBs we got, the RF (connectivity) is showing a much better response than everything we received so far. In fact, we’ve been able to make a working prototype of it (hence the delay for the update). Result: they work wonderfully.
Distance: more than 20 meters (66 feet).
Connection status: no dropouts at all.
See for yourself:
Sylvain walking with a working pair of earbuds
For the skeptics:
Please note the blinking lights and large wire on the earbuds are for prototyping purposes only.
Q: Wait Chris… what’s the difference with the other working prototypes you mentioned before?
A: So last year, we posted a video of a working pair. That pair had connectivity issues, short and long distance. We mentioned about 2 months ago that we had good connectivity on short distance but connectivity issues on longer distances. This new working pair has great connectivity, short & long.
Frankly, we’ve been stressing out a lot about those prototypes. We were banking immensely on the new suppliers.
The plan has worked. With highly competent and well-equipped manufacturers, we can make wonders when they truly understand our design.
So what’s next?
Well, we need more testings before going into pre-production (thus announcing a shipping estimate).
We need those confirmations:
We’re confident we’ll get those confirmations soon enough.
OUR EARBUDS’ SIZE vs COMPETITION
Below I show a comparison of Phazon to two competitors that are currently in the active people market. While Phazon is not the smallest, our form factor will result in a lower profile in the ear while getting an outstanding fit compared to the below competitors. Check out the photos below.
Here’s another look of fit the on different people:
Yup, it’s kind of a big deal the difference in there 😀
So we’re very excited about this reliable connectivity prototype.
We will continue testing and can’t wait to update you again.
Chris & the Phazon team