Ever wished you could have high-fidelity speakers in your home without having to install a huge stereo system? Well, your wish may be granted by Mass Fidelity’s new Bluetooth speaker called the Core, which launched on Indiegogo back in September.
On September, the company had raised more than $300,000 of its $48,000 goal. In the final days of the campaign, Mass Fidelity raised even more money to end with more than $675,000. The Core is officially the top-funded Canadian Indiegogo campaign in history. The company said it would extend the crowdfunding campaign until November 2 with a new perk. Mass Fidelity then offered the Core Wireless Sub, a high fidelity subwoofer that works with the Core speaker as one of its perks for funders.
Updated on 11-17-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Mass Fidelity is taking pre-orders on its site and is part of the Forever Funding Indiegogo campaign program.
By the time the campaign finally ended in the beginning of November, Mass Fidelity announced it had raised $1,142,079, which amounts to 2,379 percent of the company’s initial $48,000 goal. Due to the campaign’s huge popularity, Mass Fidelity’s Core is part of Indiegogo’s Forever Funding program, which allows a project to continue amassing funds even after it has closed. You can also pre-order the speaker for $450 on the company’s website — That’s $150 less than retail price.
Wave Field Synthesis seems to separate sounds in a track, making them sound as though they are coming from different points in the room.
“When we saw everyone’s reactions after hearing the Core, ranging from industry veterans to music lovers, we knew we had something great on our hands, but we have been absolutely floored by the response and support of the Indiegogo community,” Ben Webster, CEO and Co-Founder of Mass Fidelity said in a statement.
“Over the past few weeks, we’ve held multiple events for campaign backers and potential supporters who are excited to hear the product,” he added. “The Core is fundamentally different than any other wireless audio product out there due to the amazing ‘acoustic hologram’ it creates, and our Indiegogo backers are the first in the world to be able to hear the future.”
The small speaker takes up very little space, but the sound it emits is more than enough to fill a room. Mass Fidelity showed Digital Trends the speaker in our New York office and we put it to the test in a brief demo. The speaker uses Wave Field Synthesis (WFS), a specific technique for audio rendering that creates the effect of two Hi-Fi speakers placed at opposite ends of a large room. Wave Field Synthesis seems to separate sounds in a track, making them sound as though they are coming from different points in the room.
While listening to the track “Money” by Pink Floyd, it sounded as though the cash register sound was coming from one end of the room, even as the responding sound came from the opposite side of the space. The vocals seemed to occupy their own space, too. Of course, this effect is more pronounced on some tracks than with others. For example, the Beatles “Revolution,” which we sent to the speaker from our iPhone to the speaker via Bluetooth, didn’t create such a pronounced effect. Regardless, the sound quality was astonishing for a speaker of its size.
In addition to the WFS technology, the Core packs Absolutely Bass Technology (ABT), which ensures strong low frequency performance. Mass Fidelity says that the Core can “output frequencies down to 44Hz at ‘normal’ listening volumes.” It also has a 129 Watt amplifier.
You can skip through tracks on the Core with gesture controls and you can even take over from others if you don’t like the song that’s playing. Smartphones, computers, and tablets all connect to the Core over Bluetooth and it’s as simple as that. Mass Fidelity told us that the idea was to make the Core as simple to set up and use as humanly possible. Therefore, there is no companion app. Users can also connect to the Core using NFC technology.
The Core connects to Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, and other home audio systems, too, so if you want to watch a movie and crank the sound out on your Core speaker, you may do so. The speaker also has several physical ports for when you want to hook it up with other devices. There’s a Multi-Room wireless input, S/PDIF Optical input, Control input for home automation systems, and 2VRMS Stereo analog input, for when you want to connect the speaker to your record player.
Users can play music from any device with Bluetooth onboard, including devices from Apple, Android, or Windows. Streaming apps also work with the speaker.
The Core measures just 6 x 6 x 4 inches and looks like a sleek, black box with a chrome base (it’s about the size of a Nintendo GameCube, for you gamers out there). The black, acrylic glass top is supported by a chromed steel base, which mimics the look of old-school microphones. Mass Fidelity claims that the Core can last 12 hours on a charge and that it charges in less than 2 hours. In the meantime, the speaker can even charge any device that doesn’t quite have the same stamina, such as a smartphone or tablet, via a USB port.
The Core will retail for $600, but it’s on Indiegogo now for just $350 for one, $700 for two, or $1,000 for three speakers (for if you want to connect your whole house). Mass Fidelity expects to ship the speakers in early to mid-December.
Updated on 11-04-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Added news that Mass Fidelity’s Indiegogo campaign is now at an end and the final amount raised.
Updated on 10-06-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Mass Fidelity raised more than $675,000 of its $48,000 goal, making it the top-funded Canadian Indiegogo campaign ever. The company will extend the campaign until November 2 and add the Core Wireless Sub to the list of perks for contributors.
Updated on 9-16-2014 by Malarie Gokey: Mass Fidelity raised more than $300,000 of its $48,000 goal with 18 days left in its crowd-funding campaign.