back to article OnePlus founder scores $7m from iPod inventor and other investors for audio startup

OnePlus founder Carl Pei has raised $7m in seed funding for his new hardware startup based in London and focused on the audio sector. Pei's biggest coup is signing up Tony Fadell as an investor. Fadell is best known as the inventor of the iPod, and led the 35-member team that created the inaugural product. He later served as …

  1. IGotOut Silver badge

    Audio Hardware?

    Pretty crowded market

    Either roaring success or crash and burn.

    Historical credentials are meaningless

    Essential Phone?


    1. Robert Grant Silver badge

      Re: Audio Hardware?

      Beats? :)

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Stray observations:

        (After which, I'm still clueless as to what they're thinking. Market is too crowded for yet another streaming service.

        On the home audio hardware front:

        - Sonos are a strange one, since their kit didn't originally play nice with established services and protocols from Apple, with whom they share customers. Things seem better now, but it's interesting that Sonos went the 'do it alone' route.

        -Google discontinued Chromecast Audio, which was an Android / iOS / Mac / PC agnostic way of doing audio on the cheap. Shame. Worked lovely, except for with Spotify which was glitchy. Spotify, BBC Sounds etc work well on TV Chromecast, but that requires TV screen to be on. My little Sony Bravia TV is at least civilised about not outputting hums and hisses between tracks.

        - Girlfriend makes noises about ditching her amp and B&W speakers in favour of an Apple HomePod, based on what she heard in the showroom. Whilst there is no replacement for displacement, its amazing what little speakers can do these days.

        And on portable audio:

        - High quality, dedicated audio players have become commoditised, with Chinese made players containing high quality DACs from ESS available for about £100. True, the like of Sony and Astell & Kern (nee iRiver) still sell PMPs for £600 and up, but great audio fidelity has never been so inexpensive. Just a shame most people just use their phones.

        - What was that sodding weird yellow Tolberone-shaped audio player that was tied to a high-def music download service, and punted by Neil Young a couple of years back? Clearly it didn't take off.

        - Superb audio fidelity can be coaxed out of any phone these days, if one wants to buy a USB C / Lightening DAC.

        - There are wireless audio codecs aplenty, but support is patchy on the headphone side. All Android phones support LDAC these days, for example, but only higher end Sony cans do.

        1. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

          Re: Stray observations:

          I'll buy her speakers, but she'll regret selling them!

        2. pLu

          Re: Stray observations:

          > What was that sodding weird yellow Tolberone-shaped audio player that was tied to a high-def music download service, and punted by Neil Young a couple of years back?

          PonoPlayer. Neil Young clearly doesn't understand how audio in the digital domain works.

  2. Mike 137 Silver badge

    Financial support?

    There's a very interesting recent article about venture capital in the New Yorker. Well worth reading in the context of vaguely described startups by elusive entrepreneurs.

  3. trevorde Silver badge

    Unique Selling Point

    This audio hardware is truly unique and offers a blockchain based codec, powered by AI to drive a premium VR experience with enhanced quantum effects*

    * requires compatible cats, sold separately

  4. don't you hate it when you lose your account

    Always wanted

    To register 'Bodge it and Scarper' as a company. Be perfect for a crowd funding project.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Always wanted

      Why bother with "Bodge it"? There are plenty of crowdfunded projects which never delivered anything. Just go with "Scamyou & Scarper". Announce it will all be designed in-house (actual manufacturing outsourced to China). Knock up a few renders. Toddle off with the money.

      I can't remember which of the sites allow it, and which require something to be delivered or your money back. Once you've done that research, you should be all set.

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