This is the first discussion post for our first Bluetooth audio Massdrop Collaboration product.
The possibilities with Bluetooth wireless audio products are just starting to be realized and we're excited to be joining and helping to innovate the game. Our team has been living with wireless audio products and prototypes for the last year and considering everything about them. From sound quality to call quality, connectivity to controls, even the control sounds- we have been working hard to make a product that we think will add up to a superior experience.
This collaboration has roots in a key meeting we had at the end of 2016. We were dreaming of potential collaborations with NuForce. The EDC, EDC3, and now the Stride in-ear monitors are results from that initial brainstorming session. Optoma NuForce has been a key strategic partner that continually demonstrates a willingness and ability to improve, iterate, and customize many details in order to help us deliver a product vision that best supports our community.
The Massdrop x NuForce Stride makes for a great first entry into Bluetooth audio...it’s just one item to carry and has simple controls. The fit and finish really spoke to us as we tested prototypes. We’re proud to enter the Bluetooth audio market with the Stride.
BETTER BATTERY = BETTER SOUND
Most Bluetooth IEMs use the same standard battery: a thin, long battery that occupies the entire body of the earpiece. A 6mm dynamic driver is mounted to the nozzle and surrounded by a thin plastic shell. It’s easy to choose the same battery other IEMs use, the same small driver, and to tune with digital signal processing (DSP). But the battery drives the shape of the shell and the sound. Longer housings place weight further away from the ear tips and put more stress on the ear tip contact point and seal.
Stride has a shorter and wider battery shape that allows for a smaller earpiece, plus room for a wider driver. Stride uses an 8mm dynamic driver, seated in an aluminum and thick plastic housing that is denser and less resonant than other examples in the category. The additional space also allows for acoustic tuning, rather than relying strictly on DSP to tune the sound. With more room, the housing can be tuned like a speaker enclosure. Two reflex ports create airflow for better bass performance.
Bigger driver + Ports + Less DSP = effortless, deeper bass and less distortion throughout the entire frequency range compared to similar form factor IEMs.
Distortion for an IEM in this category is quite low (other products often at 1%). On average, Stride exhibits an order of magnitude lower (mostly below 0.1%):
BETTER BATTERY = BETTER FIT
Fit is also enhanced by the shorter housing. The earpieces sit closer to the canal for a weight balance closer to the ear tips. This minimizes the leverage of up & down forces, creating a more secure fit while the earpieces move.
Most examples of this type of earphone use the same battery and same-sized drivers. This is a perfect example of audiophile goals driving different design choices to better performance while maintaining an attractive price point. And, good value encourages participation. After all, more accessibility to audiophile products is another of our most important goals. We are thankful to have partners like NuForce who are aligned with this concept!
If the Stride becomes a tool and a companion for your workouts, travels, chores, work, or studies...
If you forget about them and instead enjoy the music…
Then we achieve what we set out to do for you.
If you have been waiting for the right time to jump into Bluetooth audio...here’s Stride!