Geek Wave by LH Labs Solves Smartphone Audio and Battery Complaints
By Mel Fabrikant Wednesday, April 09 2014 @ 03:55 PM EDT
New Gadget Transforms the Mobile Listening Experience, Plus Offers High-Speed Battery Recharging
After two highly successful campaigns raising more than $1.5 million over the last six months and bringing two new products to market including Geek Pulse and Geek Out, LH Labs, a division of Light Harmonic, is ready to announce its third product that aims improve smartphone audio quality. Geek Wave is in the final stages of development and the company is now ready to hear from audiophiles and casual listeners what additional features they want to see in the new device. Geek Wave is designed to work with a user’s smartphone to bring the highest quality audio to their ears, while also acting as a battery backup and storage device for every smartphone user.
Geek Wave plans to be the answer to three common complaints about smart devices: Audio and Streaming Quality, Storage, and Battery Life. Beyond being the answer to these complaints, Geek Wave is sleek and portable, plus works directly with a smartphone interface, unlike similar audio devices on the market or in development that only act as standalone music players.
Audio and Streaming Quality: Plays Audio, Including Live Streaming, 128x Clearer and 8x Louder
One of the most common complaints with smart devices, as smart as they are, is that they don’t have enough bass and volume. Simply put, they cannot play high-resolution audio or be heard in crowded places. This is partly because up to 40 percent of a phone manufacturers’ budget goes into the ultra-high-resolution screen, leaving about a dollar for sound components. This results in smart device audio sounding blah and is the reason why it’s so difficult to hear music and movies when on a train or plane, in a coffee shop or while at the gym. Beyond the basic components within a smartphone, headphone output power is weak, on average just 20mW, not high enough no matter how expensive a listeners headphones are.
Wanting to provide life back to lifeless music, movies and games, Geek Wave instantly turns a smartphone into a high performance audio engine. It is capable of playing audio that’s 128 times clearer than a CD and up to 8 times louder, finally allowing smartphone users to clearly hear their music, movies and games.
To achieve this, Geek Wave is built on a high-performance digital to analog converter core that Light Harmonic has had in development since 2008 and uses it is “cost-no-object” audio components. Utilizing Light Harmonic’s “INSTANT POWER” technology, currently used in its high-end Da Vinci DAC, Geek Wave delivers 2 times more power to headphones, allowing them to be heard to their fullest potential, even in the most crowded of places. This is something that every audiophile and casual listener will notice.
For the millions of listeners that have entire libraries of lower quality MP3 music or stream through services like Pandora and Spotify, Geek Wave uses Light Harmonic’s “Duet Engine” to improve the digital signal, making the music louder and clearer when played back. The ability to stream audio and play additional types of audio formats, and make the music that listeners already have sound better uniquely sets Geek Wave apart from other devices, including Neil Young’s “Pono.”
Storage: Free Up Smartphone Storage Space and Put More Music in Your Pocket
With basic smartphones starting at 16 gigs and going up to 64 gigs of storage, it’s hardly enough for apps and games, let alone a music library of MP3s or higher quality audio. Geek Wave adds storage capacity with 256 gigs of storage standard, plus it has the ability make both MP3 music files and live streaming audio clearer and louder. This means users can store more than 50,000 songs in their pocket, or with streaming have access to billions more.
Battery Life: Charges Smartphone Twice and 2x as Fast
It’s no secret, one of the biggest complaints about smart devices is battery life, especially when using them for playback of larger, higher quality audio and for gaming. The Geek Wave features a high capacity battery that can recharge a smartphone battery twice in half the time of other chargers available on the market. It does this by incorporating charging circuits into the tips where it connects with a smartphone, ensuring it’s receiving the most power available from a USB port. With many standalone portable batteries costing $75 or more, LH Labs is able to provide its superior charger technology and a major enhancement to a phones audio performance in a single device.
LH Labs hopes to sell its Geek Wave for as low as $399. Other similar devices, if they were on the market, could sell for $1,000 and above, but LH Labs wants to ensure that its device and high quality audio are available to everyone, not just the elite. No other device on the market can compete at this price and offer so many features including being able to recharge a smartphone, play a variety of digital audio file formats at top quality and do it all with more bass and volume.
“Together with backers and future users we are revolutionizing the way music is listened to on-the-go,” said Gavin Fish, co-creator of Geek Wave. “Geek Wave is the best audio compliment to a smartphone ever designed and is portable enough to easily go everywhere a smartphone goes.”
Crowdfunding on Indiegogo
Having raised more than $1.5 million in the past six months and releasing two new products, LH Labs, a division of Light Harmonic, a high performance audio manufacturer and maker of the Da Vinci Dac, Da Vinci Dual Dac and LightSpeed USB cable, knows the importance of not only raising money, but of asking questions. The campaign launches Wednesday, April 9, 2014, at 12:00 noon Pacific Time. The campaign is seeking input from backers and audiophiles on how the current specs can be improved and is hoping to have more than 1,000 backers support the project and its further development. LH Labs plans to release the Geek Wave in late 2014.
Geek Wave Website: LHLabs.com/GeekWave
About LH Labs:
LH Labs is a division of Light Harmonic (Facebook.com/LightHarmonic) whose vision is simple: make sound, sound better. Follow LH Labs online at LHLabs.com and on social media: Facebook.com/GeekByLHLabs, Twitter.com/GeekByLHLabs, and YouTube.com/user/LightHarmonic.
LH Labs in the Media:
The Best Gear for Listening to Hi-Res Audio, The Wall Street Journal, 1/3/2014
The Entry Level // The LH Labs Geek Out ($199, lightharmonic.com), which will be available for order Jan. 7, packs a dizzying number of audiophile-friendly features into a gadget the size of a thumb-drive. Manufactured by an offshoot of the ultra-high-end audio company Light Harmonic (whose flagship DAC goes for $31,000), it's one of the most future-proof models in its class, equipped to play an especially wide range of high-resolution audio formats, even the most obscure ones (32-bit/384-kHz files, in case you were wondering, as well as a format known as DSD). There are three different models of the Geek Out, each tailored to work with a specific type of headphone, but the basic version is suited for the vast majority of headphones.
Double Take Review: Rockin’ out with the Geek Out, Confessions of a Part-Time Audiophile, 3/28/2014
Light Harmonic hit the hi-fi scene like a bat outta hell a few years ago, earning a reputation for sonic integrity and forward-thinking design aesthetics. … The Geek Out 1000 has powerful musical presentation, dynamic range, and staggering dimensionality, and place it in a class all its own. Its only similarity to the other products in this segment is the fact that it plugs directly into the USB slot without the need for a cable. But the Geek Out doesn’t behave like a small, pocket-friendly USB amp/DAC. It’s got the power and resolving capabilities of a desktop unit! This lil’ thing is a beast!
Light Harmonic crowdfunding campaign raises $1.2M, Sacramento Business Journal, 12/31/2013
The company is four years old, and used to sell just about 100 of its high-end units a year. The success of the Geek Out, and now the Geek Pulse, is helping Light Harmonic get in front of international distributors and retailers, as well as direct to customers.
The 10th Annual Positive Feedback Writers' Choice Awards for 2013 - The Best of the Best!, Positive-Feedback, November/December 2013
As a headphone enthusiast, I've come across my share of miniature USB DAC/Amp units over the past few years. And while many are passable (Audioquest Dragonfly), and some are superior (HRT Microstreamer, CEntrance DACport), none of them have resonated that deeply with me. … So when the Geek Out's crowdsourcing initiative was launched, I remained rather apathetic and blasé about it. Then I heard it. OMGWTFBBQ!!11!oneone! How was it possible that this little thing could sound so good? While putting out 1-watt into an LCD-3? It was detailed, natural, balanced and unbelievably clean. And it was not thin or strident at all. The overall presentation was refined with nearly effortless power output. "Everything was way larger than I expected, and my expectations were not low. I'm waiting for one like an audio junkie." - Michael Mercer