Will You Crowdfund Audiophile Equipment Worth Over a Lakh?

Gadgets 360, Gopal Sathe

There are a lot of interesting projects that you will come across on Kickstarter and Indiegogo, and for the most part, we prefer the small projects that look like they have a chance of actually working out. Every now and then though, you come across an ambitious project that sounds cool enough that you’re tempted against your better judgement to put down a lot of money for a product that doesn’t exist yet. Like Nativ’s audiophile music system.

Nativ’s crowdfunding project launched on Indiegogo on Monday, and in just a day, it’s crossed 60 percent of its target, having raised over $75,000 (roughly Rs. 50 lakh) against a target of $100,000 (roughly Rs. 66.5 lakh), with nearly two months to go before the project closes in June. It’s a high end music player with an 11.6-inch touchscreen, that can store up to 4TB worth of songs, and also stream music and videos from a number of sources including YouTube and Google Play Music, and supports Google Cast so you can send this to your TV if you want to.

That’s the Nativ Vita. There’s also the Nativ Wave, which has a similar design, and works as a USB DAC and headphone amplifier that can be used with the Vita, or with your other gear, and both the two devices claim to offer audiophile quality output. Finally, there’s the Nativ Pulse, which is a power-supply for the Wave, and is also designed to look like the other two devices.

The designs for the products are quite amazing, and this is why the Nativ project looks very exciting – but it’s also extremely expensive. The Super Early Bird price for the Wave (25 out of 30 remaining as of writing) is $699, or around Rs. 47,000. All 10 Super Early Bird units of the Vita are already sold.

That means that you’d be looking at $999 (roughly Rs. 67,000) for the Vita now against a planned MSRP of $1,599 (roughly Rs. 1 lakh). If you get all three devices, you’ll have to pay $1,898 (roughly Rs. 1.26 lakh), which the project creators claim is a savings of $2,400 (roughly Rs. 1.6 lakh) against the retail price of the three units.

That’s definitely a lot to pay for a crowdfunding project, but the designs of the products do look amazing, and if you’re in the small niche that is interested in a product of this kind, then the Indiegogo page is worth checking out.

The Nativ Vita can connect over popular wireless protocols to your speakers, control a multi-room setup, and the company says it’s going to release a free SDK for the Vita, so developers can keep adding new features.

The devices look amazing, and it’s easy to see how they could be set up as the center of your entire music experience. Compared to other “audiophile” gear, the Nativ Vita and Wave aren’t particularly expensive either. Of course, the difference is that the competing gear is coming from known brands instead of being crowdfunded, with the risk that it won’t actually ship, even after being funded. That’s not a big issue when it comes to a small gadget of some sort, but for a big project like this one, you’re going to have to think long and hard.


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