MARCH 2018: BETA TESTING & MASS PRODUCTION STARTED!
We’re back with our March update and have lots to share. We went through a round of beta testing, received a lot of feedback, and have successfully started mass production. There’s lots to talk about so let’s get to it!
Last month we completed production on all pre-production units. We have since gone on to test them both internally and externally and have received extensive feedback, as described below. Mass production is now underway - we expect to have our first batch of Black/Silver earphones at our logistics facility in Hong Kong the week of the 26th and will be shipping them out shortly after.
We will be sending a special Indiegogo update right before the first units ship. We will outline everything you need to know about shipping, tracking and getting your Revols up and running.
Beta Testing Results
Montreal Beta testers after they customized their own pair of Revols.
Over the past 4 weeks, 50 Kickstarter beta testers as well as 50 Logitech beta testers have received pre-production units. They experienced the molding magic and provided us with helpful feedback. All beta users tested their earphones while participating in daily activities such as exercising, commuting, working, etc., and then provided feedback through surveys and interviews.
Some participants used their Revols at work, others took them on transatlantic flights and one even used them while training for his marathon. We received so much useful data and we can’t thank our beta testers enough. Here is some of what we learned.
The Customization Process
In order for an individual to customize their pair of Revols, they must go through the app-guided customization process. Throughout past Indiegogo updates we’ve shown the customization flow and have talked about how we’ve gotten feedback that has allowed us to optimize the experience. The feedback we received from the beta testers suggested that the work paid off. Almost everyone was able to get through the process without any external help.
The Molding Tips
The goal when designing our molding tips was to enable around 95% of the population to find a good fit by choosing between the small and large tips (both of which are included in the box). Our research shows that people with smaller ears typically have a harder time finding a good fit, and we tried to take that into account when designing our tips. Our latest round of beta testers had a wide range of ear shapes and sizes, and the majority of them were happy with the fit of our tips. Some people who thought they would prefer the small tips actually felt better with the large tips and vice versa. We also saw that some people were unsure how to know which size was right for them. If you have any questions during the customization process just reach out and our support team will be happy to help guide you in the right direction.
Because we knew that it is challenging for people with smaller ears to find a good fit with their earphones, we created an experimental extra small (XS) tip for beta testers to try if needed. What we found was that there was a small percentage of testers who needed the XS tips. As a result we will be going ahead and producing XS tips, but they will not be available at the time the units ship. Since the small and large tips are designed for the majority of people, we suggest that you go through the molding process with the tips provided and assess the fit, isolation and sound quality. If you feel you may need an XS size, email us at email@example.com and we will help you hone in on whether XS is best for you. Once the XS tips are ready, we’ll reach back out to those people who contacted us and required a pair.
During the testing we also discovered some inconsistencies in production that were causing issues with the tips clipping onto the earphones and with sound coming through some of the tips. We identified the root causes of both problems and the tip manufacturer has since made changes to ensure that these problems do not happen with our production models.
The App & Firmware
Having 100 beta testers use our app on a combination of iOS and Android devices allowed us to find and fix hidden bugs on both the app and in the firmware. As the beta testers continue to report new bugs, we will continue to fix any remaining issues before the app is ready for download and before you receive your earphones.
The Battery Life
The Revols earphones are equipped with a 40mAh battery in each ear (for a total of 80mAh), and the Revive battery pack is equipped with 150mAh. We originally estimated battery life based on power consumption calculations, but now have real world test data and a better understanding of expected battery life. We found that users could get roughly 5 hours of playtime with their earphones and an additional 5-6 hours with the Revive. This is lower than our original calculations, but still provides an above industry standard of 10 hours of combined playtime. Even though the Revive is nearly double the capacity of the earphone’s batteries (combined), you may be wondering why it doesn’t provide double the battery life. One of its main purposes is to provide a high discharge during the customization process, which requires a lot of energy. The fact that the Revive was designed for high discharge has resulted in the revive battery draining faster when used at the lower discharge rate used for charging the earphones. In other words, when the Revive is used for charging it’s much less efficient with a discharge loss of roughly 50%.
The Sound Quality
As you all know, we have put a lot of time and effort into ensuring the sound quality is amazing. Rather than telling you about the beta results on this asset, we believe the backers’ experiences and feedback is a testament to just how great it is. Here’s what they think:
“The sound quality. It's just excellent...Speaking as someone who has experience with very high end custom headphones (1964 Ears) the sound signature produced by your product is shockingly good. These are 80% as good as my custom monitors, at 1/10th the cost.” - James G.
“These earphones are allowing me to hear instruments and sections of songs that I had not heard clearly in any other in-ear earphones. For in-ear earphones, [the sound quality of these] are really good.” - Daniel S.
“They are a little bulky, but I don’t mind it. If you really want to get into how bulky things are then headphones are ridiculous. I actually have received multiple compliments. A little bulk for the amazing bass these things carry is quite alright with me! The sound quality is truly revolutionary!” - Priscilla G.
We’re so happy to have gone through this beta process. We gained a lot of insight on our product and got to interact with some of our backers on a personal level. All of this has allowed us to further refine the product and we're very grateful.
When we sent out the BackerKit surveys back in August, we gave everyone the opportunity to purchase additional accessories and/or another pair of earphones. For those backers that added onto their order, we will now be going ahead and charging your credit cards. You will be receiving a confirmation email from BackerKit once the transaction goes through.
In addition to preparing for shipments and the app release, we have been constructing an extensive FAQ section and setup page. Should you have any questions or concerns once you receive your unit, this support page will help during the troubleshooting process. This section also includes detailed "how-to" images that go over using/wearing the earphones and accessories. They were designed because of the feedback we received from beta testers throughout the customization and setup process. Here’s a sneak peek:
Illustration of how to use the Cable Management Clips.
As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or concerns. Mass production is underway! Woohoo!
Have a good rest of the week,
The Revols Team