Our latest batch is out, and we’re working on our next!
With 2021 kicked off, the Eno team has been working hard to get your units out the door. In this update, we’ll be running through our progress on the latest batch, and our timeline for the next.
The latest batch of 250 units (Batch 2B) has shipped, and everyone in this batch should have received their tracking numbers.
In January we were able to fix several small production issues that we identified from this latest batch. As a result, we’re now ready to move to our larger mass production batches. The next batch of 2500 units (Batch 3) will begin manufacturing this month after Chinese New Year, and will be fully assembled in April.
We’ve also released version 0.2.0 of the Enowork app with several improvements to check out!
We described in our November Update that batch 2B was slated to be manufactured in December. We achieved this milestone with only 1 week of delay from our original schedule.
The units are in transit from the factory. Shipping this latest batch has been slower than we anticipated, but by now everyone in batch 2B should have received your shipping labels, and many have received their units.
We mentioned in a previous update that many units in each batch are reserved for certifications and internal testing. With this latest batch shipped, all Kickstarter backers who’s order numbers are below 380 should have received their units.
We can’t wait to get your feedback on the enophones and the enowork app. To build your anticipation, check out these pictures of the latest batch’s assembly!
With this batch we were able to identify several minor issues from the units that did not pass our QC process. We spend January working on improving our process to mitigate these issues moving forward.
First, a few units exhibited a minor audio buzzing in the right ear cup. We spent a week in January investigating this issue, and found the cause in the wiring. In a few units, the audio wires were assembled too close to the Bluetooth electronics, causing an audible electronic hum in certain cases. We’ve since adapted our assembly process to ensure this doesn’t happen in future units.
Second, the audio team at our factory – who have been continuously working on improving the quality throughout the last batches – had a suggested to implement. Naturally, the earcup fabric is crucial to the quality and balancing of the ANC. The audio team suggested a tighter, more reliable stitching method than we had previously used. We ran the experiments, and we’re very happy with the results – the scrap rate is much lower with this new method. We’ve since adjusted our assembly process to incorporate this improvement.
Third, based on data from our beta testers, the firmware team has been working on improving the Bluetooth performance and reliability. In January we made some updates to improve the reliability in certain edge cases. In parallel, we were able to reduce some of the digital noise – the Bluetooth interference that caused the audio hum described above. We’ll be working to make firmware updates available to all users later in the year once all the units have shipped.
These improvements took a few weeks in January, and will contribute towards lowering the defect-rate in our production for future batches. With these latest improvements, we’re now ready for our biggest milestone yet: moving towards the production of our first 2,500 unit batch.
In the timeline we shared in our November update, we had anticipated spending January preparing the materials for manufacturing Batch 3, to then finish assembly after Chinese New Year in February.
As described above, it was necessary that we spend January implementing solutions to the issues above in order to achieve a sustainable production speed and scrap rate for our larger batches. On nearly all accounts, we are now ready.
The last issue remains the arm bands. This is a recurring issue – the very precise tolerancing, material processing, color-matching, and assembly steps of this part have been very difficult to perfect at scale. While we are able to consistently achieve great results in our finished products, the speed and scrap rate remain below our ideal limits – making the necessary volume for a mass production batch currently takes a full month for this single part.
If we had the resources and time of a company like Apple, the traditional solution to this is to spend more time in R&D before moving to production. However, our priority remains delivering high-quality products as soon as possible – we feel ready to do so. So instead, we have decided to move to mass production as intended, and to absorb the associated costs.
Our original schedule was to begin manufacturing in January, and complete the assembly in late February after Chinese New Year. Because of the changes above and the slower-than-expected armband production, our current timeline for batch 3 is to begin manufacturing the longest lead-time part (the armbands) this month, to begin the subassemblies in late March, and to complete the full assembly in April.
The subsequent batch (Batch 4) will allow us to ship all remaining units to pre-order backers. We’re working hard to ship your units as quickly as possible, and we can’t wait for you all to receive your Enophones!
In parallel, the software team recently released the latest version 0.2.0 of the beta Enowork app. To all users: you can update to the latest version by clicking the banner in the dashboard, or through the settings page.
This release includes several improvements across the app:
A quick reminder to Kickstarter and Indiegogo backers to please fill out your backerkit surveys, and confirm your shipping address. We will not be able to ship your unit until you confirm your backerkit survey.
We included instructions on how to do so in our November update.
That’s all for now! As always, leave your questions in the comments and we’ll be happy to answer them.
Lots of love,
– The Eno Team