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High School students reinvent headphone cable for the 21st century

High School students reinvent ...
The Spiro X1 Bluetooth adapter from Daniel Greenberg and his team of fellow High School students
The Spiro X1 Bluetooth adapter from Daniel Greenberg and his team of fellow High School students
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Users will just need to unplug the audio cable from their headphones, plug in the Spiro X1 and power up, pair with a source player and bop to the beat
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Users will just need to unplug the audio cable from their headphones, plug in the Spiro X1 and power up, pair with a source player and bop to the beat
The Spiro X1 Bluetooth adapter from Daniel Greenberg and his team of fellow High School students
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The Spiro X1 Bluetooth adapter from Daniel Greenberg and his team of fellow High School students
The Spiro X1 brings wireless freedom to existing headphones
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The Spiro X1 brings wireless freedom to existing headphones
Exploded view of the Spiro X1 design
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Exploded view of the Spiro X1 design
Beats headphones at the gym, minus cable clutter thanks to the Spiro X1
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Beats headphones at the gym, minus cable clutter thanks to the Spiro X1
The Spiro X1 has been designed to work with any music source device compatible with Bluetooth 4.0
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The Spiro X1 has been designed to work with any music source device compatible with Bluetooth 4.0

Music lovers can waste many hours and huge sums of money searching for a pair of headphones to match a certain style or preferred sonic signature, only to have to put them to one side and start again just to join the groovy wireless in-crowd. If those premium cans are the kind where the audio cable can be unplugged, however, then the Spiro X1 will allow them to be transformed into Bluetooth ear candy.

Daniel Greenberg's Spiro X1 has similar functionality to the successfully crowdfunded BTunes plug, but with a somewhat different aesthetic – one that screams out to the Beats generation. The original concept was born of late night discussions by team members at a hackathon held at the University of Pennsylvania. By the end of the PennApps event, the High School students had the makings of an idea.

Users will just need to unplug the audio cable from their headphones, plug in the Spiro X1 and power up, pair with a source player and bop to the beat
Users will just need to unplug the audio cable from their headphones, plug in the Spiro X1 and power up, pair with a source player and bop to the beat

Months of hard work resulted in a proof of concept in February of this year, followed by electrical and mechanical designs, and then the latest aesthetic prototype.

Roughly 38 mm (1.5 in) in diameter and about 12 mm (0.5 in) thick, the Spiro X1 has been designed to work with any source device compatible with Bluetooth 4.0. It has a multifunction button that's used for playback control and to answer calls (if the source device is a smartphone), and there's a volume rocker to the side.

An LED halo informs listeners of wireless status and when to head for the nearest power source to charge the internal battery over micro-USB (the battery is expected to be good for over 5 hours).

Users will just need to unplug the audio cable from their headphones, plug in the Spiro X1 and power up, pair with a source player and bop to the beat.

The Spiro X1 has been designed to work with any music source device compatible with Bluetooth 4.0
The Spiro X1 has been designed to work with any music source device compatible with Bluetooth 4.0

"Wires have always been a pesky nuisance," says Greenberg. "Our device would serve to make everyone’s life easier and make strides towards a more modern, wireless world. With all of the amazing technology out there, there are no reasons why someone should have a physical wire going from their headphones to their device. We hope, in a couple of years, that wires will exist no more and the Spiro X1 will be the new wire. "

Greenberg and team have hit Kickstarter to get the device into production. The campaign has just launched so early bird pledges of US$40 are still available as of writing, representing a saving of $20 on the expected retail price. If all goes to plan, delivery is expected to start in December.

Sources: Spiro, Kickstarter

4 comments
phissith
Good idea but it need to be smaller. But then Blue Ribbon had it first??
Grunchy
Blue tooth is not a lossless transfer medium. It's inferior to the cable.
Madlyb
This had been done by several companies, but this is a nice design. The biggest question is going to be battery life driving larger cans.
Marc Stinebaugh
This is actually pretty stupid. One, there are already Bluetooth headphones, so I don't see the point of this additional piece of crap. Now, if you do want to do the additional piece of crap, at least make it so that you don't need to pair with a bluetooth device, like an Ipod. Make it so that it can work with ANY device that has a 3.5mm stereo audio jack. You simply have two pieces, a male piece that would (for instance), plug into a PC or other device with no Bluetooth capability, and a female end that would plug into the existing cable on any headphones. The two pieces connect using Bluetooth, but the use of the headphones with any device is now wireless, the headphones will never touch the other device, and it can be used with all makes and models. Okay, now, go do that, please.