Basslet is the first speaker to be worn on the wrist
BY DR CLAUDIA PELZER
To not only listen to music, but to feel it – that is the vision of the Berlin start-up Lofelt, the creative minds behind the Basslet bracelet. They have been working on the prototypes since 2014. In 2016, a Kickstarter campaign was followed by an international breakthrough. It gathered 600,000 euros and, much more importantly, numerous press reports.
With the campaign, Basslet found itself among the five most funded Kickstarter projects in Germany. Thanks to the great passion and courage of its two founders – both of them musicians and hardware experts – the smart gadget has taken its place on the highly competitive music technology market. And that, even before the device was even produced. Besides the crowdfunding community, an investor from Hong Kong and several business angels also invested in the project, so the Basslet team was able to draw on an initial capital of at least two million euros to further develop the technology and make it market-ready. The result feels as if you would be standing beside a speaker or holding a bass in your hand.
From a purely optical point of view, Basslet looks like a design smartwatch or fitness bracelet without a display. No special software is needed, since the transmitter and receiver are already connected at the moment of delivery. The device has two components. One is a transmitter unit that is inserted between smartphone (or any other music source, such as a stereo system or game console) and headphones. The second component is a bracelet with a receiver module. Both are connected via Bluetooth. A so-called Losound engine transmits the vibrations of the music – varying according to the beat and frequency – to the body. This covers low frequencies from 250 Hertz down to a depth of 10 Hertz.
The makers behind this miniature subwoofer are both music lovers and industry insiders. Prior to this business venture, hardware expert Gwydion ap Dafydd worked at Native Instruments. The second founder of this project, Daniel Büttner, was a bassist in Liverpool and New York and worked as a product manager for the Berlin music software company Ableton, where he worked with sound design, among other things. Basslet now combines both sound design and hardware in a completely new product.
The bracelet will be available for the first time in the spring of 2017. Those who do not pre-order via Kickstarter and thus benefit from the pre-order price will pay around $200 US. According to the founders, with this new gadget, you will not only be listening to music; you will be feeling it.
This article was published in The Produktkulturmagazin, issue Q1 2017. Picture credit © Basslet by Lofelt