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Earshots BT Audio

How Virscient helped audio start-up Earshots gain control of their destiny.

James Bell-Booth is someone who takes exercise and wellbeing very seriously. He loves staying active but hates when standard earphones dislodge, fall out, or demand constant adjustment because of movement or moisture from rigorous activity. He found it incredibly irritating that trying to listen to audio can detract from the great experience of being active – rather than enhancing the experience as it should.

It was while taking part in an adventure race that James decided enough was enough. He knew he couldn’t be the only one experiencing these frustrations with audio listening devices. And so, the idea of Earshots was born. Wireless, waterproof earphones with impeccable sound quality and Bluetooth connectivity – held in place by a magnetic clip to withstand sweat and rigorous activity like mountain biking, CrossFit, and more.

The first iteration of Earshots was manufactured in China which allowed James to get version one out to the market quickly and affordably.

Although this is a fairly standard and understandable choice for start-ups, it comes with a hefty compromise – Earshots didn’t own the product or its IP, the manufacturers did. And as soon as James needed to change the hardware in a material way (beyond shape and colour) he would hit a wall. To sum up, this solution was neither sustainable nor scalable, and it gave James little control or oversight.

Fortunately, Virscient had overcome many of these problems before on our other client projects and could offer Earshots a stellar solution. That’s why James chose us to become their technical and strategic partner.

James says:

“I started working with Virscient in late 2020 and worked with them on the new version of the product that we began selling in April 2022. We wanted to have more control and understanding of our firmware and our hardware for the second version. We were introduced to Virscient and found that they were a perfect partner to help us.”

Once James engaged us, we developed the hardware and the embedded software. As well as comfort and durability, powerful Bluetooth connectivity was key as James explains:

“We wanted to deliver a great connectivity experience. That involved both some firmware work and antennae design work. Our customers want high performance streaming with no cut-outs. If the experience isn’t seamless and great, then customers don’t feel delighted by your product.”

As a result, Virscient helped Earshots boost their potential. With an improved product, they can now increase their sales, across more lucrative channels, and with greater confidence and oversight. Working with Virscient also means they’ve got built-in flexibility once they’re ready to launch the next generation of Earshots.

This is how James describes the experience of working with Virscient:

“One of the big things I’ve learned working with Virscient is – because they’ve been involved in a lot of large-scale projects with global brands – they understand the technical side, and they’ve got a strong handle on the workflow required to put out world-class products. I’ve listened to Dean’s advice around expectations of what it takes to put products out as a global hardware brand. There’s direct technical support, but then there’s the indirect advice that the Virscient team can provide, which has been invaluable.”

Although Virscient normally works with larger customers, we are well-positioned to help players of all sizes solve technical challenges and grow rapidly. Part of the success of this project, is due to meeting Earshots where they were at – an exciting audio start-up – and helping them take the leap to the next level with confidence.

“What’s been very helpful is that Virscient is used to working with clients that are multibillion dollar companies. I can’t thank the team at Virscient enough for not just understanding Earshots as a technical client, but as a start-up client and some of the challenges that come with that.”

Science backs up what James knew all along. Listening to music or podcasts during rigorous activity helps improve your performance, push through pain, and get into a state of flow.

Earshots always had a great concept and brand. Now, with Virscient’s support and fast-moving approach, they own the firmware and hardware. The result is beautifully crisp and clear music, podcasts, and conversations to help pro-athletes, beginners, and everyone in between reach the next level of performance.

For the team here at Virscient, it was an absolute privilege to be a strategic partner with James and the team at Earshots, supporting them to unlock their next level of performance and take back control of their destiny.

Have you lost control of your project’s destiny?

Virscient has an enviable track record of helping multimillion dollar clients from around the world bring their audio concepts to life. If you have an audio project that needs strategic and technical support, the experts at Virscient have the experience, skills, and innovative outlook to make it happen.

Please reach out to us via Contact – Virscient. We’d love to have a chat to explore how we can help.

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