Swedish Startup Space

Happy Tunes Playing for Headphones Startup Earin

Written by on September 21, 2016
Editors Note: This post is part of a series called Featured posts, presented by Breakit.

The Swedish audio company sold bluetooth headphones for more than $3 million in the final quarter of 2015. This year, Earin expects revenues of $12 million.

Swedes are having a lot of success with headphones, and are especially excelling in the rapidly growing bluetooth headphone segment. Just last week we reported on Happy Plugs’ new Yevo line (article in Swedish).

But the Lund-based Earin were the first on the scene. The company is Sweden’s second biggest crowdfunding recipient of all time, raising nearly $1.5 million on Kickstarter.

Even after the Kickstarter success, the pressure is on for Earin. When the company launched an online store in October, it crashed immediately under the weight of visits.

Now, recent figures show that the company is continuing on the fast track. In the 2015 fiscal year, Earin had sales of $3 million, and an operating profit of just over $200,000.

The product was was only launched in September, which means that Earin sold $2 million worth of headphone in the final quarter of 2015, excluding the kickstarter campaign.

“We are very pleased with the volume of sales. Now, we have launched in European stores in addition to the US and Asia,” said Olle Lindén, CTO at Earin.

After the books were closed on 2015, the headphone company continued to grow. Earin’s CFO Per Sennström expects that 2016 revenues will land at over $11 million, despite the fact that competition is growing.

“It gets tougher with more competitors, but there is also a benefit. When it was just us, there was no segment for wireless headphones. Now there is more attention,” said Mr. Sennström.

A big boost for the Earin was Apple’s new iPhone 7 which has no headphone jack. Despite more competition from Apple, Olle Lindén sees this as a boon for Earin.

“It demonstrates that we are in the midst of a technology change, and we are on the right side of it,” he says.

Per Sennström adds:

“Apple’s Airpods have been received quite poorly because they protrude outside the ear. Moreover, the wireless headphones don’t come with the phone, they are too expensive.”

With Earin’s phones, there’s nothing dangling from the ear, it’s just a small plug sitting in each ear. When not in use, the headphones are stored in case where the batteries are charged automatically.

To make the headphones as small as possible, the company has chosen to incorporate technology from hearing aids, instead of traditional earplugs.

“Most headphone buds are hollow behind the speaker to support the bass, which lets in noise from the environment. Our solution is tighter, so you get to keep the base but block noise from the outside,” said Mr. Lindén.

Part of Earin’s success can be attributed to the founders’ common experience. Lindén and co-founders Per Sennström and Kiril Trajkovski all previously worked with the construction of Nokia phones.

“It is very reminiscent of assembling mobile phones. Since our headphones are completely wireless, they require a chip set in each ear. We are again working with radio signals, speakers and a small physical space. Our previous work has served as a foundation for this,” said Olle Lindén.

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