2014 Paris Motor Show highlights

Earin: The "world's smallest wireless earbuds"

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June 16, 2014

The Earin wireless earphones are similar in size to your typical in ear-headphones, but wi...

The Earin wireless earphones are similar in size to your typical in ear-headphones, but without the wires

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A team of engineers has developed what they are claiming is the world's smallest wireless earbud. In creating Earin, the vision of the team, led by mechanical and design engineer Olle Lindén, was to produce earbuds that not only did away with the messy wires and cables, but fit unobtrusively in the ear to provide a high quality listening experience.

The Earin buds weigh 5 g (0.17 oz) and feature a plastic casing with a silicon tip on the end that is designed to create a snug, noise-isolating fit inside the ear. Measuring 14 mm (0.55 in) in diameter and 20 mm (0.78 in) in length, they are a similar size to your typical earbuds and use Bluetooth 3.0 and 4.0 to wirelessly stream audio from a paired device.

The team opted for a balanced armature speaker, the same type of transducer commonly found in hearing aids, which they say allowed them to achieve higher outputs with much more energy efficiency while keeping size to a minimum.

Running on a 50 mAh rechargeable Li-Ion battery, Earin should be good for up to three hours of listening at a time. They come accompanied by a storage capsule, which is also fitted with a 100 mAh Li-Ion battery that can recharge the earbuds when they're placed inside. The capsule weighs 25 g (0.9 oz) and is recharged via a USB cable.

While the company offers three foam tips for different ear sizes, it is also conscious that earbuds can easily be shaken loose by bumpy car rides or more animated jogging techniques. To this end, it has crafted a "Concha lock" from silicon which, when fitted to the earbuds, uses a wing nestled along the inner ear to create a more secure fit.

Lindén himself is experienced in the field of mechanical engineering, having previously worked with Sony Ericsson and Nokia in designing audio components and phone architecture. The idea for Earin was first born five years ago but it is only now, he says, that technological advances in wireless transmission of stereo sound has helped him realize this vision.

He and his team are offering sets of Earin buds and wireless charging capsules for early pledges of £99 (US$168) on Kickstarter. With functioning prototypes already developed, the team has taken to the crowdfunding platform to raise money for commercial production and hope to begin shipping in January 2015.

You can hear from Lindén in Earin's pitch video below.

Source: Earin

About the Author
Nick Lavars Nick was born outside of Melbourne, Australia, with a general curiosity that has drawn him to some distant (and very cold) places. Somewhere between enduring a winter in the Canadian Rockies and trekking through Chilean Patagonia, he graduated from university and pursued a career in journalism. He now writes for Gizmag, excited by tech and all forms of innovation, Melbourne's bizarre weather and curried egg sandwiches.   All articles by Nick Lavars
8 Comments

How long before the first visit to A & E to get one removed because some accident or other has transformed it from an Earin to an Earstuckin?

Mel Tisdale
16th June, 2014 @ 05:30 am PDT

No doubt people will use these in both ears while driving, with little to no chance of being spotted by the cops while they crank up the volume. That's a collision just waiting to happen. Bad idea.

Even if the world does need yet another set of earbuds, why should they need to be "unobtrusive"? What obtrudes into other people's worlds is the escaping noise, not the look.

Anyway what's the point of the latest, greatest and most hi-tech set of earbuds if you can't show them off to all and sundry? I don't see many casual water-cooler conversations beginning "Have you looked down my ears lately?"

Christopher Osborne
16th June, 2014 @ 09:40 am PDT

How long would it take to lose one or both? If there are young children in the house, I would questimate about a half a day.

westcoastdog
16th June, 2014 @ 10:19 am PDT

why lie about this being the 'best' audio experience?

this is for a stealth and discrete earbud system so that you can have audio feeds while not drawing attention to yourself.

while this could be marketed as a security product, it does seem the reality is that truly stealth audio wireless security will be conducted through teeth caps and internal bone, because the appearance of even a 'discrete' audio device will be sufficient enough to establish suspicion in espionage circumstances.

however, for secret service or just plane old security at a party trying to blend in, this could be great.

zevulon
16th June, 2014 @ 11:13 am PDT

Neat idea...but that actor in the video is an idiot! The worst type of people imaginable! He's walking through a wooded area replete with the pleasing sounds of nature, wind, birds and what not and what does he do? Drowns out the beauty of nature with horrible music. Then he doesn't stick to defined paths and prefers instead to trample flowers so nobody else can enjoy them. Then he crosses the street...does he look in both directions before he proceeds? Of course not, his level of arrogance precludes that mundane action...He *EXPECTS* the world to wait for him, not the other way around!

And while it doesn't mention this anywhere...is it BlueTooth?

Ed
16th June, 2014 @ 12:18 pm PDT

What a bunch of crybabies making comments. You can lose anything-your wallet, ring, pocket change. If you have small kids, they will lose everything you do not keep away from them, Car keys, spoon, forks, pocket change, rocks, salt and pepper lids. - Stealth or showoff - come on, how pretentious are you. Some people will find these handy, convenient and nice to use, even walking in nature.

tigerprincess
16th June, 2014 @ 02:09 pm PDT

To Christopher Osborne

Not everyone buys hi-tech earphones to show them off. Some people like minimal and discrete ways of listening to their music.

Most people I know use their stereo systems in their car and not headphones. You shouldn't be using headphones in your car anyway, that's a responsibility of the user.

How old are you? 80? Not everyone walks around blaring music you don't like all the time. Some people listen at decent volumes.

Kieron Welman
16th June, 2014 @ 05:11 pm PDT

School exam rooms will need bluetooth jammers now!

Seriously though, this kind of technology is awesome.

Now if they can just crack wireless power transmission

And if you don't like it don't buy it.

esar
17th June, 2014 @ 05:16 pm PDT
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