Geek Pulse goes Blue(tooth)

Some news from the LH Labs crew on the forthcoming Geek Pulse, a desktop headphone DAC/amplifier that may well (now) include the kitchen sink when it comes to features.

What’s new? A new look, variable outputs, (maybe) balanced outputs, and yes, even Bluetooth support.

Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Bluetooth tech — it generally sounds like steamed garbage. My hope is that the clever buffering scheme used/developed/patented by the LH Labs crew will fundamentally change this experience for me, because “wireless” could actually be useful.

Why Bluetooth 4.0?

It’s convenient. You want to be able to stream your music from your device directly to Geek Pulse. You may even want your kids to do it, too. And because you’re backing our campaign, we know you already have a high-quality sound system. So we’re making this device the LH Labs way— joining convenience with quality. Bluetooth 4.0 features fast device pairing, low-latency communication between your device and Geek Pulse, low power consumption, and backward compatibility with all versions of Bluetooth!

Why aptX?

We don’t want Geek Blue to be just another “me, too” bluetooth device. We want to be able to stream high-resolution audio through Bluetooth 4.0! With the aptX codec, we get closer to that goal. Did you know that aptX is the technology behind HD radio? While it’s a compressed format, the compression algorithm is very advanced. Combining this bit of technology with our super-quiet DC power circuit make Geek Blue the best sounding Bluetooth component you’ve ever heard.

Patent-Pending Noise Reduction

Wireless transmission usually creates more noise (sometimes called “jitter”) than wired transmission does, making the music less enjoyable. To eliminate this problem, we use our patent-pending, three layer elastic buffer to store the music as it comes in, re-clock it, remove the un-wanted noise, and then we send it on to Geek Pulse. Voila! No more need to sacrifice quality to get the convenience of streaming music wirelessly.

This is not a final list of changes, this is just what we can commit to right now.

  1. We’re removing the decorative “V” on the front panel.
  2. We’re changing from a glossy acrylic front panel to a metal one.
  3. We’re changing the volume control buttons to a large control knob.
  4. We’re adding informative LED’s to the front panel to display sample rates, etc.
  5. We’re adding a gain switch so all ya’ll with IEM’s won’t blow your ear drums out. We’re thinking three positions: 3 W, 1 W, and 100 mW.
  6. The headphone output and the line output will have discrete analog circuits.
  7. We hear you on the balanced output idea. Stay tuned as we figure that out.

I’ve bolded #5 because I think that’s a kick-ass idea. And since the LH Labs team seems unusually responsive to feedback, if you have a suggestion, you should consider piping up. Need a feature? Any particular lack going to be a show stopper? Let them know.

Last but not least, the Indiegogo campaign has retired about 60 of the 300  “Early Bird Special” slots pricing the Geek Pulse at $299 (40% off retail).

Check it out now at Indiegogo.