New Earphone True Wireless Design With ANC Explores a Different Approach to End Ear Discomfort

June 29 2020, 00:25
Korean technology startup NeoPon is bringing to market a new earphone that promises to eliminate the discomfort experienced from wearing earbuds for prolonged periods. This is the company's second design with a bendable earphone, which is now being promoted on Kickstarter. The design is intended to prevent all the unintended consequences of current inside-the-ear or loose fit designs, by not applying pressure on ear canals and featuring an adjustable structure that stays in place. The NeoPon 2 earphones also feature active noise cancelling and a flexible hook with adjustable microphone.

The NeoPon 2 true wireless earphones come with a flexible stem and around the back of the ear hook that perfectly adapts to any ears and are designed to stay firmly in place after the user adjusts the earpieces. The earpieces can be worn in-ear or allowed to sit loosely, even floating above the canal. The easy-to-adjust NeoPon 2 earphones are equipped with 10mm sized drivers and the latest Qualcomm QCC3040 chipset, offering a Bluetooth 5.2 radio with support for voice services from Amazon Google, Siri and others.

"Many of us have suffered from itchy or painful ears caused by wearing earphones or earbuds for an extended period of time. Most in-ear earphones have to block the ear canals in order to work effectively, making them the perfect breeding ground for germs and dirt. These are common complaints, and this problem isn't just going away. While the earphone and headphone market size continues to grow, studies of in-ear devices found them teeming with over 2,000 times more germs than what is found on an average cutting board. This raises strong concerns with the modern emphasis on safety precautions and sanitization measures," says Neo Lee, NeoPon's founder CEO and lead engineer.

NeoPon intends to solve this problem with an earphone design that includes oval-shaped earbuds attached to a movable stem. The NeoPon 2 earphones promise to combine high-quality sound even when not pressured inside the ears - and by positioning it anywhere on the outside of the user's ear canals, the air naturally flows in, reducing the risks of infections, ear pain, and other problems. 

The NeoPon 2 features also allow users full control over noise cancellation based on the loudness of their environment. Background noise can be quickly tuned out or focused on by simply moving the earpieces closer to or away from the ear canal without requiring users to take off the device or stop what they were listening to. "I created this product to remove every single pain point associated with prolonged earphone usage. No more ear discomfort, no more volume adjustments. Now anybody can have full control over their earphone audio without sacrificing their comfort or health," Neo Lee adds.

The NeoPon 2 flexible hook ensures an individual custom fit for every user — the earphone won't fall off during use, even during a vigorous workout. And by using Qualcomm's latest Bluetooth 5 platform, the earphones are able to support an AI-enhanced interface that connects with all popular voice assistants and also offer Qualcomm aptX wireless transmission. To complement the completely different shape of the NeoPon 2, the company designed a round charging case with a USB Type-C fast charger, allowing for 6 hours of use per charge and an additional 20 hours of battery life in the case (300mAh).

The bold NeoPon 2 design is currently being offered through crowdfunding platform Kickstarter for just $79, with a limited number of early backers being able to grab units at $39 or $49 early bird reward tiers. The campaign was launched on Kickstarter June 25, and the product is expected to ship in December 2020.

The company's first campaign on Indiegogo, almost three years ago, was fully funded but the company had lots of quality issues with the original NeoPon model (still Bluetooth 4.1), like most TWS early designs at the time. Hopefully, this time they will not face the same hurdles with the updated Qualcomm platform, and a much improved product design.
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