Earshots 4DESIGN 17 Earshots (Gen2)

  • Pou Auaha / Creative Director
    James Bell-Booth
  • Ringatoi Matua / Design Directors
    Will Grant, Jarn Bulling
  • Ngā Kaimahi / Team Members
    Simon Weston, Thomas Mackisack

Earshots launched its first generation of wireless earphones during a nationwide lockdown in 2020. Two years on, the story of Earshots remains: when founder James Bell-Booth was training for the T42– a 42 kilometer endurance race through the Tongariro National Park, he was disappointed to find that no earphone would simply stay in his ears and not move during his intense training sessions. Frustrated, James set out to find a solution. The challenge for the first generation model was to create a design for securely attaching an earphone to a user’s ear that is moving in fast and varied conditions. The revolutionary solution was a locking system using two magnetic elements. One positioned inside the concha bowl– the earbud magnet, and the second element behind the ear– the ear hook magnet. Together, the two magnetic elements pulled through the ear creating a locking effect.

For the second generation Earshots, we were challenged to solve a number of problems customers had identified while using the first generation. This included: designing an adjustable fit for various sizes of concha bowl, creating an improved seal between the ear canal without pressurizing the ear, and developing a new acoustic design for a premium audio experience. The design solutions had to build on our Magnetic Earlock™, now successfully patented in the US, China and Australia. It also had to continue our commitment to eliminating the use of unnecessary plastic tips or wings that other earphones use to solve these challenges.

To solve these problems we created three key design solutions, all built around our unique selling point of the Magnetic Earlock™:
1. Rotating earbud – this unique design uses a ratchet mechanism that pivots the earbud about the concha bowl, located inside the ear. Enabling 45 degrees of rotation, the solution allows users to select the position that fits best for them.
2. Elliptical earbud – our design is non-occluded, which essentially means you don’t plug and seal the ear. Traditional ‘plugging’ sport earphones create uncomfortable pressure in the ear. On top of that, a non-occluded design enables ambient noise to filter into the ear, for safety while riding bikes and running.
3. Rear Drive System – housing electronics behind the ear enable a larger acoustic design in the earbud. This creates space for a larger driver than typical earphones, and the necessary space for an acoustic chamber to generate a premium audio experience.

Today’s market is crowded with products that claim to deliver ‘secure-fit’ solutions, most of which fail to deliver. We regularly receive customer feedback describing how satisfied they are to finally find earphones that stay on and work. Earshots bold mission is to be the sports earphone of choice for anyone who doesn’t want to be distracted by their audio experience. Commercially, the earphones & headphones market size exceeded USD$85bn in 2021 and anticipated to only grow. With such a unique design now patented in the US & China, this Kiwi innovation truly has a chance to succeed in the global market.