Audeara headphones crowd-funding campaign heard around the world
A crowd-funding campaign launched by CCIQ Collaborate accelerator hub residents Audeara Headphones has blasted past its initial six-figure target on day one.
Audeara, founded by Brisbane doctors James Fielding and Chris Jeffery in 2014, was launched to the world via a Kickstarter campaign yesterday with a first-up goal of finding $100,000.
The unique Audeara product, the world’s first full fidelity headphone, enables the user to perform an audiogram, resulting in perfect music and protected hearing – for life.
Audeara’s mission is to bring the listener perfect sound, always: “We are committed to our vision of improving the way people experience sound. We will continue to develop products that improve hearing health.”
The first time the headphones are worn, the user performs a hearing test – the results of which are then stored in the headphones themselves. The headphones then use your hearing profile to adjust the sound signal as it passes through them. They adjust your right ear differently from your left – making sure each part of the signal reaches your brain in a way that’s heard as a perfect reflection of the intended signal.
Dr Fielding was delighted with the opening to the Kickstarter campaign, which saw the headphones initially sell for $199, then $249 before settling at $299 for the 45-day period. They will eventually retail for $499.
“The idea for the headphones came to us back in our hospital days, when we’d see people turned away from a hard-won appointment for not having their audiogram results,” he said.
“We became determined to make hearing tests quicker and more accessible, so we created a medical-grade audiogram that we could put inside headphones. Then we wondered: what if the headphones not only test your hearing – what if they use that information to make music sound exactly as it was meant to?
“The response from people who use the headphones for the first time is amazing. They’re usually overwhelmed at the difference in what they hear – and they wonder why they’ve been using off-the-shelf headphones for so long.”
After an extensive social media campaign and promotions on the Audeara website, the campaign began spectacularly yesterday with $10,000 sales in each of the first few hours.
“We were thrilled with the initial response. We spent a lot of time planning, waiting and hoping. To see the uptake and validation on the first day is very encouraging,” Dr Fielding said.
His colleague, who has also served with the Australian Defence Force, said customers would be blown away by the quality of their product, which was being manufactured in China.
“There are a lot of companies out there making headphones, but we think the Audeara headphones have reset the bar. They adjust the audio to your hearing – so you instantly hear music the way it was made by your favourite artists,” Dr Jeffery said.
“They test you as many times as you like, so your hearing’s protected for life. But for me the best thing they do is learn exactly what they need to change to make music sound ideal for you – they make it better, not louder. And they do that as many times as you like – they evolve as your hearing does. In theory you need only one pair of headphones to get perfect sound for the rest of your life.”
A full production run is scheduled for April, with delivery to customers worldwide in July. The medical product is still in development, and money raised from the sales of the headphones will be used to further fund that development.
Peter Ball, Managing Director of Collaborate partner Impact Academy, and who has been guiding the Audeara team, said it was an amazing first-day result.
“To achieve $100,000-plus in the first day is off the charts. This is a one per-center. There are some start-ups that don’t even get close to their target by the end of the crowd-funding campaign,” he said.
Dr Fielding said the more money that came in before April would enable the Audeara team, made up of doctors, engineers and musicians, to fine tune the product and ensure it was better than any similar product currently on the market.
In a unique approach to helping businesses to start-up, accelerate and innovate, the state’s leading business group, a global start-up incubator, a social enterprise accelerator and the state’s leading educator have partnered to create Collaborate, a unique accelerator challenging entrepreneurs and creative thinkers to solve the problems of small business.
Located on the fringe of the CBD at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland offices in Spring Hill and close to transport, Collaborate offers 60 desks plus office space, meeting facilities and event spaces to residents along with access to parking, Wi-Fi, secure entry, staffed reception and concierge, onsite 3D print facility, webinar studio and all the services they need to get their business up and running.