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Start-up gets set to begin selling California-style headphones

August 11, 2012|By Salvador Rodriguez
  • California Headphone Co. is set to wrap up a Kickstarter campaign this week that probably will double its fundraising goal.
California Headphone Co. is set to wrap up a Kickstarter campaign this week… (California Headphone Co. )

A California start-up is set to wrap up a Kickstarter campaign and begin selling headphones inspired by the state this weekend.

California Headphone Co. spent the last two months raising money on Kickstarter, and the company had nearly doubled what it hoped to receive with two days left to go.

The start-up based in Danville, Calif., designed two headphones that were inspired by its home state as well as headphones used in aviation during the World War II era.

The two headphones were built using metal sound chambers with titanium drivers and were designed for rock, country and alternative music. The headphones heighten and clarify vocal, guitar and drum sounds, and they were made to give off live concert-like audio, according to the company.

Part of the motivation behind California Headphone Co. is to move away from the current direction that over-ear headphones are going with plastic and bring back the higher-quality materials used in the 1940s and '50s, said David Adam, a co-founder of the company.

"We want to bring this true material -- metal and leather -- back to headphones," he said. "Now, with all this plastic, we feel like let's go back to the roots and make something that's quality but with today's technology."

Among the headphones' best features is a built-in cable splitter that lets two people listen to the same source using separate headphones. Cable splitters have been around for a long time, but they're not generally built into headphones.

"If you're listening to something you can just say 'Hey, do you want to listen too?' " Adam said. "It's kind of a social thing, and it's something that's a little bit extra on the cord that's fun."

The two models available are the Laredo and the Silverado. The Laredo, billed as a premium on-ear headphone, is made with stamped metal and leather and goes for $99.95. The Silverado, the company's "most premium" headphone, is made with die-cast metal and leather and sells for $225.95.

You can still get both, as well as a limited edition of the Silverado, from the company's Kickstarter page at a discounted rate. California Headphone Co. also hopes to begin selling the two online sometime this weekend at their full price and at retail stores next month.

The units are already in production and should arrive to customers around early September. The limited-edition Silverados, though, are likely to arrive in late September.


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