If you listen to music often, you’re likely in the market for a set of wireless headphones – not least because Apple took away the audio jack in the iPhone 7.
These Air earphones are a good alternative to Apple’s AirPods – and you can choose white or black. Available now on Indiegogo, the Bluetooth buds are a little cheaper than Apple’s at US$99 – so long as you’re quick to snap up the special price before the crowdfunding hordes. They work with Android as well as iOS devices.
The stylish wireless headphones are the work of Allen Zhang, the same guy who came out with the fantastical, levitating Mars speaker, which was a huge hit on Indiegogo back in 2014. The project pulled in US$830,000 from around 4,500 backers.
People are also crazy about his latest creation. The Air buds are already past US$520,000 from 5,100 buyers – even though the project has only been online for a couple of days.
Skullcandy and beyond
After its popularity on Indiegogo, the Mars speakers went on to be sold online and offline in 170 countries, with North America and Europe being the top markets, explains the founder and CEO. Over 50,000 of the things have been sold already – and that’ll top 100,000 by the end of the year. “We do not rule out the possibility of developing other gadgets [beyond] the audio field,” he says.
Allen began working for Chinese electronics firm TCL, which is perhaps best known for its TVs, in the early 2000s. Then he created his own product strategy business. That was when headphone makers Skullcandy came to him.
“At that time Skullcandy only had five people, so we basically helped them build everything but their logo,” says the boss.
Allen and the Shenzhen-based team will now focus on the Air earphones, which are due to be shipped in January.
“We worked on it for quite a long time, and announced [Air] back in August,” he says, which was before Apple showed off the AirPods. “We think music will be wireless in the future. There are lots of competing brands like Bragi, AirPods, and many others in the market now. Obviously, the earphone is just entering the wireless era. It is more appropriate to say that AirPods and [Crazybaby] are the first group of participants in the market.”
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