Last summer, were you one of the many people who screamed “Shut up and take my money!” when we brought you news of the prototype cat ear-shaped headphone/speakers from recent startup AxentWear? If so, your harshly worded enthusiasm has been rewarded, as preorders have at last begun for the futuristically feline gadgets.
Back in June, California-based startup Axent Wear was preparing for its crowdfunding campaign through website Indiegogo. Given the amount of buzz/meowing the concept artwork alone had generated, we predicted University of California Berkley graduates Victoria Hu and Wenqing Yan would have no trouble getting the resources they needed, and we were right. The pair set their original target at US $250,000, but ended up raising more than 10 times that amount, eventually ending up with US$2.9 million to fund their endeavor, thanks in part to the pitch video they produced, and, we like to think, because of certain awesome news sites that helped get the word out <cough> free review pair? <cough>.
If you’re the kind of person who’s keen to strap on what looks like a pair of cybernetic cat ears in public, odds are you’re not the ultra-introverted type. If you’re interested in sharing not just your fashion sense but also your taste in music with those around you, the ear portions of the headphones also function as speakers.
▼ The unit being equipped with LED accent lights is also sure to get you some extra attention.
Axent Wear officially announced the headphones would be going into production last November. Until now, they were only available through the company’s Indiegogo page, found here. As of this month, though, they can also be ordered here through Japanese retailer Domore Shop, in your choice of blue, red, green, or purple.
Granted, Domore’s 27,000-yen (US$225) price tag is a little higher than the $170 Axent Wear quotes on its Indiegogo page. Domore’s expected delivery date of September 2015 is also a couple of months behind Indiegogo’s estimated April.
Price and delivery quibbles aside, though, we’re happy to see Axent Wear’s distribution network grow as large as it can. After all, given that a year ago there wasn’t even a single place where you could buy these awesome cat ear headphones, we think it’s pretty cool that now there are two.