BERKELEY, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Wearhaus, a hardware and software startup using headphones to bring people together rather than keep them isolated, has secured $4MM in Series A funding and is announcing general availability for the company’s flagship headphones: the Wearhaus Arc. Designed to effortlessly share sound between headphones, the Wearhaus Arc is the first Bluetooth headset built to let friends listen to music or watch video together, wirelessly and in perfect sync, with just a tap.
“One of our core missions at Wearhaus is to provide such a high quality, comfortable listening experience that you never need or want to take your headphones off. The only problem is that all headphones are, by design, isolating - you tune out the world, but you also tune out your friends. There is no good way to share what you are listening to while maintaining that great personal experience,” said Richie Zeng, co-founder and CEO of Wearhaus. “We’ve all had moments, whether sitting in a coffee shop listening to music or watching a movie on an airplane, where we want to share what we are listening to with friends.”
“You can’t just start blaring your speakers,” continued Zeng. “You don’t have a splitter, and so you awkwardly stretch an earbud across the table or your seat. The Wearhaus Arc puts an end to that terrible experience and lets you connect wirelessly and share the same awesome sound quality with your friends.”
Wearhaus was founded by two former UC Berkeley engineering students, Richie Zeng and Nelson Zhang, who left school early with a prototype and a vision in 2013. Zhang was also one of the earliest recipients of the prestigious Thiel fellowship. After founding, Wearhaus was accepted to Highway 1, the premiere hardware accelerator in Silicon Valley. The team founded Wearhaus to create hardware and software that work together to expand what headphones can be. The companion iOS and Android apps allow the Wearhaus Arc to deliver new features and functionality via software and firmware updates, making the Arc the only headset that will continue to improve over time.
“Most headphone companies don’t think like technology startups – they simply aren’t interested in innovating. They want to sell a new headset every year based on different colors and finishes, and other cosmetic changes that provide little real value to their customers,” said Nelson Zhang, Wearhaus co-founder and 2013 Thiel Fellow. “We are, first and foremost a technology startup, constantly looking for new ways to connect people through sound.”
The Wearhaus Arc uses Wireless Audio Sharing to connect two headsets together via the companion app or using gesture-based controls embedded on the right ear cup of the Arc. Users also wirelessly control volume, pause, play, and skip songs with simple swipes and taps on the headset. For users who want to share their music with the world, the Arc also allows them to broadcast what they are listening to via a public “Station” that enables nearby Arc users to tune in and discover new music.
The Wearhaus Arc also features customizable light rings on both ear cups that adjust via the companion app to create any color or combination of colors the user can dream up. Whether it’s to match their outfit or a mood, Wearhaus users can change the look and feel of their Arc by the day or by the minute. The light ring can also be set to pulse with the beat of their music or match the colors of their favorite albums’ cover art.
The Arc is crafted from high quality, stress-tested materials with anodized aluminum accents and features custom memory foam earcups and headband for maximum comfort even over long listening periods. Via Bluetooth the Arc boasts a 16-hour battery life and a microphone for voice calls, and includes a wired option for direct plugin.
The Arc retails for $199 and is now available for purchase on the company’s website, www.wearhaus.com.
The series A funding is led by Tellus International, along with Xiaoxiang Capital and China Southern Media and will be used to ramp up production to allow for immediate fulfillment of individual sales and large, soon to be announced retail orders.
Wearhaus is a hardware and software startup focused on using headphones to bring people together, rather than isolate them from one another. The company’s first product, the Wearhaus Arc, launched as a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, and the company sold out of their first run in a matter of weeks. A global company from day one, Wearhaus has software engineering based in the United States, manufacturing based in China, and sells their innovative Arc Headphones in Asia, Europe and North America. Wearhaus global headquarters is in Berkeley, CA.