Kokoon Update: Audio, ANC and Testing Results
As usual, it has been a busy few weeks here at Kokoon, apologies again for the delay in getting this update out, as you will see it’s a rather long one. We have cleared some major milestones with our hardware, made progress with tooling and have testing and training of our algorithm in full swing. We’ll update on all of this and more below.
Beta testing progress and results
As mentioned in our last update, we have been progressing with our external testing and are now actively testing the Kokoon system on some local early customers. We have met a number of you over the past weeks and it’s been great getting direct feedback.
The current external testing we are doing provides insight into the performance of our mechanical design but, critically, brings in the data we need for training our sleep staging algorithm. We are collecting data from a diverse demographic and the results of this testing is being used to train our algorithm.
We’re seeing good results, the quality of the data is excellent, and whilst it is still early days for the algorithm, we are happy with the way it’s progressing. We’ll likely have a deeper update on the algorithm performance soon.
Please see below for a couple of the people we’ve met in the past weeks:
Tim: wearing a black headphone and wired up with electrodes:
“I was worried that they might come off in the night or be uncomfortable, but they stayed in place and didn’t bother me at all. They were great!”
Ketan: Wearing a black headphone and electrodes. Ketan gave the headphone a general comfort score of 8/10 and said:
“The sensors on the headphones were hardly noticeable. I found them comfortable and they feel good”
We have also had valuable feedback on areas that could be improved on, in particular around headband clamping force and making sure the headphones don’t ‘slip’ on the back of your head. We already have a simple fix for this which we’ll be working onto our test units shortly.
The tooling process has taken longer than we’d hoped. As we’ve mentioned before, we’ve been working with our tooling suppliers and factory for some months. We took the decision to review the design thoroughly (reviews, FMEAs etc.) and fix small issues that emerged through working with the tool makers before committing our final design to tooling. We had been hoping to have our “first off tool” samples ready in mid-August, but due to this extended review process with the toolers we’ve had to push this back. The positive is that we expect to encounter fewer issues during mass manufacture and have a higher quality product.
The factory will now be working to a tight timeline producing the tooling and getting the production line ready. The factory now expect to produce our first ‘Off-Tooled’ components in October and as a result this means the first units off our production line will be ready in November.
From our perspective we’ve tried to keep the delay to a minimum, but as ever, quality is our focus. We did not want to finalise the tooling and production line process until we had fully de-risked our design sufficiently. In the coming weeks we’ll be able to share photos of the tools used to produce Kokoon and also the factory line setup process as that gets underway.
We will continue to keep you all up to date with developments here and look forward to getting the headphones out as soon as possible.
Audio results: Noise reduction
We are pleased to report that on our most recent testing the ANC system gives a -15dB in external noise reduction and the passive reduction reduces up to -27dB. This is in line with our target specification so we are very happy with this result. You can see the impact of the ANC system and passive noise reduction in the graph of our results below:
Development in the ANC system is almost done and the only outstanding activity will be fine tuning of our ANC filters to maximise performance in the units produced via our mass manufacture production line in a few weeks.
Audio Results: Sound Quality
For good ANC performance and to ensure accurate reproduction of your music we need a relatively ‘flat’ frequency response. By carefully selecting the correct speaker driver to suit the headphone’s acoustic chamber and also mechanically tuning the chamber using specific width holes with audio filter paper, we have achieved good frequency response right up to 20kHz. Our headphones will reproduce your desired music with high fidelity and quality; and we’re pleased to share a recent frequency response graph below (It should be noted that this response will change as the device goes through the production phase).
Figure 1 Kokoon Relax Headphone (Aug 2017)
Below are some frequency responses, for comparison against some popular Bluetooth and ANC headphones that are currently on the market. (For comparison purposes 110 dSPL is 0dB point)
That’s all for now. We hope you enjoy reading about our latest progress and developments. Apologies again for having to announce a further schedule slip, but we are in the final stages now and looking forward to getting the headphones to you all.
The Kokoon Team