Mixing passions: The Dubstein Bluetooth speaker mug
By Paul Ridden
June 24, 2014
When Toronto's Jansen White was sitting around a campfire chugging beers, he was struck by an appealing thought. What if the koozie his friend was using also had built-in speakers? And so the first product of his newly-formed company Dubgear was born. Two years and 20 prototypes later, the Dubstein is now being prepped for production.
The main body of the Dubstein is splash- and spill-proof, but not fully waterproof, and is home to a pair of 3 W, 40 mm full-range neodymium speaker drivers, a Class-D amp and a 24-bit DAC. It also features bass porting to add some low end thump.
"The speaker does get loud, testing around 100 dB, yet the sound is bass/ treble balanced," lead designer Jonathan Loudon told Gizmag.
The current prototype makes use of custom electronics, but the production version will see third party components being merged in to balance high quality with mass production price points.
Bluetooth 4.0 technology is used to wirelessly feed in some tunes from a paired device from up to about 30 ft (10 m) away (though there's also a 3.5 mm audio input jack for a player lacking in Bluetooth). The Dubstein will remember the last paired device, and auto seek when powered on.
There's a thumb control on the handle for volume, playback and call answer, and a built-in microphone that can transform the jug into a speakerphone. A rechargeable lithium-ion-polymer battery is claimed good for 8 hours of playback.
The Dubstein will come supplied with a dishwasher-safe, BPA-free drinks container, which slides into the main body and can hold 395 ml (13 fl oz) of hot or cold liquid. This insert can be removed to pop in a favorite bottle or can beverage, or some booze with your blues, if you prefer.
"The beverage insert is single wall (similar to any coffee holder)," White told us. "The speaker base unit is double walled. So if you use the beverage container, then you get triple wall insulation. If you remove the beverage insert, and insert a bottle or tallboy (like a koozie), then you get double wall insulation."
This marriage of music and liquid refreshment is now ready to rock, but needs a cash injection from the crowdfunding community to roll into production. As of writing, Kickstarter backers can pledge CAD 129 (US$120) for an early bird Dubstein. If all goes according to plan, Dubbers, as the development team calls them, will be shipped the first units in November. The expected retail price post-Kickstarter is CAD 149.95.
The Dubgear pitch video is below.