ClearMic for QC35 – A story by our Product Manager

Below is the story of how the ClearMic Noise Cancelling Boom Mic for Bose QC35 came about and where Headset Buddy is going with its products in 2017.

ClearMic 3504 on ear

One day during an office new product brainstorming someone yelled out “what about making a ClearMic for the QC35’s?” At first we thought, “why would one need a wired noise cancelling mic for headphones that already has noise cancellation and a built in mic?” Then we went to Best Buy and purchased a pair to test out. Although we love the Quiet Comfort 35 sound quality and almost complete noise cancellation features, the microphone left a lot to be desired. It is pretty much mono sound and it picks up EVERYTHING. If someone drops a penny on the floor 15 cubicles away from you, it was heard on your phone call with the built in mic. Now that we knew what the problem was, the question would be how do we fix it?

For the first few weeks we kept asking ourselves “would customers really want a wired microphone for wireless headphones?” and yet customers would email or call us every day asking if we were coming out with a version for the QC35. Now that we knew there was demand, we had to make it right or it would be a complete fail. With that said, we wanted to continue with the progress that we made on the ClearMic 3511 for Beats Headphones. This means including our newly designed nylon braided cable, inline volume controller, updated (and not so easy to lose) wind screens, as well as the reinforced boom mic arm. Now that the demand and design parts were out of the way, on to the functionality phase.

This was by far the hardest part of the process. Talk about constantly second guessing yourself. We went through almost 10 different versions of the 3504 until we came to a point where someone said to me “Dude, it’s perfect. Stop hearing things that are not there.” The litmus test would be making a phone call with my noise sensitive mom. She is the type of person who will be quick to say “I can’t hear you, call me back later”. So, I sat on the patio of Bouldin Creek Cafe during the lunch rush hour (1-2pm) and spoke to my mom for about 20 minutes. At the end of the call, she asked if I ate yet and told her that I’m at a restaurant right now eating. She was floored. Her exact words were “I thought you were in your office. It must be slow there.” That’s the moment I knew we had a winner but the final test comes with real world customers.

For beta 10.2.3 (I completely made version that up) I walk around downtown Austin and asked 25 random people to test the QC35’s with our ClearMic and without while making phone calls, let us know what they and the person on the other thought. For some reason, people thought I worked for Bose and asked if they could keep the headphones or were we looking to have a give a way contest for them, weird. Anyways, back to the story. The callers on the other end were amazed. No one reported hearing background noise, which is what wanted and a few who were realized that I didn’t work for Bose preordered right then and there. Talk about making someone’s day. One of the best feelings is someone loving a product you created so much that they are will to spend money on it. This must be what Antonio Brown feels like when he’s dancing in the end zone.

From there we place an order with the factory and 2 weeks later they arrived.

Side note: This is only a partial order. Some people may see a 2-week turnaround time and try to steal our factory. Just wanted to clarify that.

That first day was a whirlwind because we had it marked as our release date and by now there were over 60 preorders that had to go out that day. Our FedEx guy ghosted us. He never came to the office but said that he “attempted to deliver”. Weird how that works. After chasing down our packages, I was told that pick up would be available after 5pm at a location in north Austin. To say that I deserve several speeding tickets is an understatement. But we made it there and back in time to pack up our orders and rush them to the post office. The other exciting part about the process is listing on Amazon because when you add a new product and there are no stars or reviews, people ordering your product is very much hit or miss. We took a gamble by sending 100 units to FBA for test and to see if there would be any traction. Within 5 weeks on Amazon, we were sold out and just replenished stock on Jan 5th.

All in all, it took us about 4-5 months creating our latest addition to the ClearMic series. I hope you enjoyed the process and the product. A lot of sleepless night were had to bring this to you. We are very excited it and the next set of products we will either be releasing or updating in 2017.

Oh yeah! Wireless ClearMic’s. It may totally be a thing this year 😉

 

Torrie Robinson

Product Manager

Long Tail Products / Headset Buddy

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