Wearhaus Social Headphones

Wearhaus Social Headphones

Posted On: November 18, 2016
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Wearhaus Arc are wireless headphones that allow you to sync up with multiple nearby friends and listen together. Music is a social experience — much more so than your headphones currently allow for. It’s a way to express your individual taste and a key part of your own style and personality.

The Wearhaus Arc is a reimagining of this classic piece of hardware; with all the changes in how we share and listen to music, it’s about time headphones evolved to keep up.

As music lovers Wearhaus know that music is one of the most powerful ways to connect with someone – whether they’re an old friend or a new acquaintance. Wearhaus never liked the way that headphones automatically close you off from everyone around you (although in many cases, that’s useful!), so we built Arc to be the first pair of headphones that let you wirelessly sync up with multiple friends and listen together.

To accomplish this, we designed a mesh networking protocol on top of standard Bluetooth audio profiles, allowing Arc to relay music wirelessly between multiple units and listen in sync. Now you can easily introduce your friends to the artists you love most, or discover new music through people around you.

The Wearhaus App makes sharing music with your friends easy. It works in tandem with Arc, displaying a feed of stations nearby and controlling privacy settings as well as headphone color.

We’ve tested broadcasting with up to six other people at a time, with a range of 100 feet outdoors and 65 feet indoors. Though theoretically Arc can support unlimited listeners, we’re constantly working to test and increase the maximum range and number of connections, and will push firmware improvements to these even after we ship the product.

Just like your musical taste, the headphones you wear say a lot about who you are – for some people, it’s even more of a fashion statement. A key part of the Arc design and experience are the customizable LED light rings. You’re able to choose your personal color at any time using the mobile app or the touch controls. If you’re broadcasting, anyone who joins your station syncs up to your color! Of course, you can also dim or turn off the backlight entirely if you prefer to be more low key.

In our countless hours of user research, we noticed a pattern among almost every brand we tested; the simple act of changing volume or song required whipping out your phone or fumbling with buttons. That seemed like a terribly unnatural way to control your music, so we made sure to tackle that problem too while designing the Arc.

A touch-sensitive panel on the right earcup allows you to control playback with simple, intuitive gestures. You can play/pause your music with a single tap, swipe to move between songs and change volume, or control sharing functionality, all without having to touch your phone.

No matter what else they can do, we went into this process knowing that the Arc will need to look, sound, and feel great to make a user happy. So we spent months working with our factory to optimize all the essentials.

Arc’s battery lasts for 16 continuous hours of solo listening, or 10 hours of sharing. A micro-USB charging cable is included, along with a standard 3.5mm audio cable for those who prefer wired audio. Voice calls and in-game chat are supported by a high-quality digital mic embedded in the earcup, right next to your jaw.

Every part of the Arc has undergone rigorous stress and reliability testing, including careful tuning of headband pressure (no more sore ears!) and a super comfortable, form-fitting cushion design that seals out external noise.

The Wearhaus mobile app helps you see what people around you are listening to and instantly tune in. The main screen shows all nearby users’ stations, along with their current song and connected listeners. Selecting immediately adds you to the station, and you’ll start hearing exactly what everyone else is listening to. The station page lets you chat with the other listeners, upvote the channel owner and bookmark the song for later.

A smartphone isn’t required to use the Arc, but our mobile app significantly enhances the social experience that the headphones create.