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Hassle-free snow helmet audio on Kickstarter

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hey skiers and snowboarders, I wanted to let everyone know I have designed and built a unique helmet audio kit that may be of interest to members of this forum. Not looking to be commercial here, we looking to take this product to production via crowdfunding (and input) and we would love your feedback.


I love my smartphone, invaluable for staying in touch, but found they were getting in the way on the hill. I looked at numerous helmet headphone solutions, but spinned my wheels too much with flaky unreliable products, expensive units, or ones that didn't work in cold temperatures ... us Canadian guys still ski when it's -30C ( -20F ) outside :)


I have been working on this for the last year and half, talking to a lot of end users, and retailers and have been working with a manufacturing partner that has helped us to create some great prototype units.  Ski season is just getting started here, but we truly believe we have something of interest for those who may be struggling with the same issues.


Lots of details to explain, but you can find out a lot more at our just launched Kickstarter campaign at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/738376334/shredz-snow-helmet-audio-reinvented


As a bit of background, the idea came from when skiing with my family. We split up a lot on the hill, and were all carrying our smartphones. I'm not so much a music person myself, but we use them on the hill to meetup for lunch and at the end of the day. My son is more the music kid, but I won't let him use earbuds on the hill. My wife doesn't ski much, but she needs to get a hold of us when picking us up. Problem was we had troubles getting a hold of each other, since we wouldn't hear our phones ringing (or texts arriving) in our jackets. Also, if we pulled out our phones, it was a pain, unzipping jackets, removing gloves, and lots of fumbling around.


I will try to answer any questions you may have I really want to be open about the whole project; so if you have any questions or comments they will be openly welcomed.


Thx, Martin

post #2 of 13
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 

Hi 4ster,


Thanks for  your reply.


We've done a number of things quite different than UClear that are very useful on the hill.


Quickie point form ...

- no mounting of Bluetooth unit on the side of head (tree-skiing hazard)

- we support a "wideband" microphone, which improves Siri voice command recognition

- ability to view status of Bluetooth battery on your smartphone (iPhone)

- Remote Button unit is very discrete, mounted on the rear of the helmet.

- All button operations are single-click operations.

     - No complicated double-button operations ... not so fun with gloves on

- Included ear pocket fit kit to give superior speaker alignment inside the ear pocket

- Offer both a Bluetooth wireless model, and a very cost-effective wired unit


Thx, Martin

post #4 of 13

This really looks awesome. Exactly the thing I am looking for without all the unnecessary features! Hope to see this in the market soon! I would jumping on this!

post #5 of 13
post #6 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Yo Momma for your input.


Like Chips too. Where we have improved on Chips (in addition to the items mentioned above), is eliminating the hassle of battery charging.

No need to tear open your audio liner again, carry around a proprietary USB adapter widget to charge your Bluetooth unit,.


You charge our Bluetooth unit by using an industry-standard micro-USB cable, that plugs into the right side of the external 3-Button-Remote.


Thx, Martin

post #7 of 13

Uh, how is this a Gear Review, unless vaporware counts as gear? Would suggest moving to Ski Gear Discussion. OP: Keep in mind that we have a fairly open mind about spam, but in truth, this is not even soliciting advice about designing gear, it's advertising for $$. ;)

post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 

My apologies if this is not the right specific forum for this post.

I had seen previous Kickstarter postings in this specific forum, and at the time it seemed most appropriate place.


Being a Kickstarter project, we definitely do want to solicit advice about designing this gear, since it is a pre-production product, and there is room to make improvements.


Willing to move it over to Ski Gear Discussion. Can the existing thread be "moved", or does it need to be recreated ?


Thx, Martin

post #9 of 13

I'm glad this was posted, as new and improved gear whether it be to make a sale or just for an FYI, is a good thing. Thanks for pointing out the differences between your product and the chips. Can you give us a direct summary of the audio comparison on to the Chips? Freq, Magnets sizes, sound quality......Thanks... 

post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 

Thanks Yo Momma for the follow up.


We are very similar in terms of audiophile specs from a speaker point of view. (ie. overall frequency response, loudness, driver size)

These specifications are normally measured as a standalone device measurement.


These measurements do not include audio impairment effects after an audio kit is installed in your helmet audio liner.


With many solutions out there, once installed in your helmet audio liner ear pockets, all bets are off.


After getting a lot of feedback from hardcore users, and with our audio engineering background, this is where we have made significant improvements. Two design elements we have implemented are to address the huge amount of sound leakage, and low audio clarity in typical helmet audio solutions.


Firstly, we have a SHREDZ Fit Kit that allows you to  properly fit the speakers in your helmet. In vigorous skiing and snowboarding, the speakers have a tendency to jostle around, and move, causing audio quality to suffer. Not knowing why, many users complain about poor audio quality.

  ie. audio quality sounds poor, or volume is too low, and they increase their volume (and decrease their battery life)


With many other solutions, you throw your audio kit in the audio liner, but there are never well positioned. Upon closer (xray) inspection, below one can see the problem. Our included SHREDZ Fit Kit allows you to do a professional fitting allows you to address this problem.


With Chips, speaker fitting is also problematic because of how they do their USB charging. You have to tear into the audio liner to charge them, disrupting any speaker fitting you may have previously done. With SHREDZ, our USB charging is done externally on the 3 Button Remote. Fit up your speakers once and you are done !


Secondly, our speakers have silicon rubber seal rings (see red rings in picture below). These provide an additional level of sound leakage reduction, directing sound better to your ears.


Combined, these 2 elements help to greatly reduce sound leakage. You hear the audio much more clearly, you can keep the volume lower, and you save on battery life !



Lastly, borrowing from smartphone technology, we have implemented a wideband audio microphone. This is an industry-first in the snow helmet audio market.

It improves clarity on phone calls, it gives a significant boost to voice command recognition accuracy when using Siri / Google Now, and aids in improved wind noise reduction.

Small details that aren't talked about much in the industry, but help to give you the most hassle-free solution in the market.



SHREDZ is not just throwing general consumer headphone technology into a helmet. It is a no-holds barred reinvention of what audio needs to be for skiers and snowboarders.



Thx, Martin


post #11 of 13

stupid question, but where do the speakers actually attach? and how? On the inside of the earpad? Just adhesive?

post #12 of 13
Thread Starter 

Nope, not a bad question at all.


They attach inside the "ear pocket". Many helmets now have a built in ear pocket / audio liner that is for installing a product like ours.


Typically there is a velcro or zipper opening in the audio liner that you open up, and install it in there.


Thx, Martin

post #13 of 13

Be sure to place the speakers on the inside of the padding towards your ears. That will leave the insulating earpad foam on the outside of the speaker thus placing the speaker closer to your ear. On the Smith Variant Brim helmet I had to press the foam back away from the ear and gently tear it away from the inside front of the earpad in order to the the speakers into the right position. I have the Chips which are similar in size to the Shredz. These new types of speakers are unequaled in quality of sound, convenience, and Bluetooth integration w/ phones. Just amazing tech that fits into your gear. I'll never go back to earbuds of any kind. Everything is fully controlled w/ gloves on, next song, last song, call ans, vol........etc........... 

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