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Vampeo Bluetooth Headphone Amp (Kickstarter)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
Not sure whether this has been mentioned, but there's a new Kickstarter project for a portable headphone amp with bluetooth connectivity, an onboard DAC and, oddly, a bass boost.[=http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/427722258/vampeo-v1-bluetooth-portable-headphone-amplifier]Link here[/]. I was wondering whether anyone could tell from the specs whether this was likely to be an interesting project for sq.

The fact that they seem to be pushing this for the Beats by Dre market is a worry (just imagine all those kids wacking up the bass boost on those!) but that may just be a marketing thing.
post #2 of 14

I'm completely uneducated in the actual science behind things like this, so someone can correct me if I say something stupid. But everywhere I've read has said that playing music via Bluetooth degrades the audio quality (Even 50 Cent says so!), which surely makes the idea of then amplifying it again seem slightly redundant? Or not particularly optimal at any rate. It just looks like it's trying to do too much to me. In the process of trying to make a cool portable amp they've bulked it up to a size that while an audiophile wouldn't mind in a transportable rig, the average consumer (Which I assume he's aiming for given the Beats in the photography) is going to balk at.

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gofre View Post

In the process of trying to make a cool portable amp they've bulked it up to a size that while an audiophile wouldn't mind in a transportable rig, the average consumer (Which I assume he's aiming for given the Beats in the photography) is going to balk at.

 

Is there any appetite at all for headphone amps outside the audiophile market? The people in the video who are trying to hold onto the Vampeo and seem excited about it all look to me as though they're either going to drop it or throw it through the nearest window as soon as the videographer yells "cut".

 

I didn't know that bluetooth degrades the signal, so thanks for the heads-up on that. Of course, you can opt for the Vampeo in a bluetooth-free form ... but the functionality (by which I mean: the range of uses) takes a hit if you do that. Again, though, how useful is bluetooth in most contexts? Cabling your amp to another amp so that you can use it as an Airplay receiver seems a bit bizarre: it's not something that I would use in any foreseeable situation.

post #4 of 14

There's meant to be the Apt-X protocol as a best-effort-basis to maintain lossless (but could degrade to lossy) - over Bluetooth. The problem is that Apt-X support still isn't that great. On the Apple platform, the full blown PC's (Macbook Pro, MacAir, iMac, etc.) do support APT-X in the MacOS but not in iDevice iOS. Some Android devices to support Apt-X but on the receiving end, few audiophile quality bluetooth headphones that support Apt-X (by this I mean the drivers).

post #5 of 14

I'm tempted because its portable device and computer supported.  These devices are usually one or the other.  I know it won't be a audiophile grade as other devices in the portable catagory, but being this universal is a plus.  Watch the video...

post #6 of 14

We plan to make a audiophile class ATP-X bluetooth headphone amp, the amp will includes a ATP-X bluetooth module and a individual DAC to improve the sound quality. also a individual headphone amp, maybe even a line out too. 

 

the ATP-X is not great but good enough based on our estimation.

post #7 of 14

Vampeo's kickstarter didn't reach its goal, but they are still going forward with pre-orders:

 

http://vampeo.com/

 

I was wondering if anyone has reviewed these yet?

post #8 of 14

The market for any headphone amplifier is the 100 MILLION people in the United States alone who have hearing loss problems. Do you think only teenagers like to listen to music or books on mobile devices.

Wake up and get one or two of your gray cells moving.

post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelleyHorwitz View Post

The market for any headphone amplifier is the 100 MILLION people in the United States alone who have hearing loss problems. Do you think only teenagers like to listen to music or books on mobile devices.
Wake up and get one or two of your gray cells moving.

Not sure who that's aimed at but - reading the thread back - it looks like it might be aimed at me.

If you're suggesting that the Vampeo was designed as a hearing aid ... you're wrong, as is quite clear from the marketing. I would think in any case that headphone amplifiers create more people with hearing loss than they help.

Welcome to the forums, but try to be more precise and less hostile with your comments in the future.
post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShelleyHorwitz View Post

The market for any headphone amplifier is the 100 MILLION people in the United States alone who have hearing loss problems. Do you think only teenagers like to listen to music or books on mobile devices.

Wake up and get one or two of your gray cells moving.

Is this a spam account? Surely Shelly didn't joined a headphone forum just to advocate for the deaf community.

post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sygyzy View Post

Is this a spam account? Surely Shelly didn't joined a headphone forum just to advocate for the deaf community.

I was a bit suspicious at first, but if he's only responded to one thread then it must be the worst. spam. account. ever. wink.gif

 

Still, I think of all threads to settle on to make this point, this one seems to be the most illogical. I would have thought if you wanted a headphone amplifier for hearing loss reasons then you would want an amplifier that had a boost in the vocal range. I can't imagine that there are many people with serious hearing loss who are looking for bass boost.

post #12 of 14

Not implying that any headphone amp is designed to be a hearing aid. What I am suggesting is that hearing impaired cellphone users NEED amplified sound to listen to music, audio books, and just plain answer calls. That is more than 100 MILLION potential customers for any amplifier, but particularly for a bluetooth integrated amplifier to boost audio signals from cellphones and media players.

post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Okay, I see your point now and maybe there should be more specialised thought put in by manufacturers on exploiting that market helping people who want to use an amplifier to combat hearing loss. But clearly the Vampeo was not being marketed for that particular group, and you would have done better to start a new thread where those issues could be discussed in themselves. Forum users who have no interest at all in Vampeo but might have an interest or expertise in what you're talking about might miss your post here.

Also, you do come off rather preachy, which is unnecessary. Telling people to 'wake up and get one or two of your gray cells moving' is a bit of a cheek when you're trying to hijack a thread to talk about something that you happen to be interested in but many of us aren't.
post #14 of 14

I was only responding to your remark that there is no other market for amplifiers. That comment happened to be in this thread, so here is where I replied.

 

Seeing potential markets is a matter of thinking (perhaps outside the box), and always requires the movement of little gray cells (quoting Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot). Maybe there is a little bit of English cheek in that.

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