Vol 1 of the Conduit Sounds Newsletter - Fire Spinning with Ben Drexler & Commuting with Dave Nghiem!

Vol 1 of the Conduit Sounds Newsletter - Fire Spinning with Ben Drexler & Commuting with Dave Nghiem!

Welcome to the first Volume of our newsletter/blog post. This month we are profiling two very interesting characters who use our Conduit Motion headphones to stay safe in their respective art, flow and fire spinning. Never heard of those arts? Then read on!

Now, we've been sporadically issuing our company communication in the past due to a lot of bumps, twists, plot twists, cliff hangers, and knife edge events over the last oh, we dunno, eight months. Yet despite it all, we're still hanging in there, we're still in the game, and we're still working hard - and smarter - to deliver the best product and service we can to you. 

A lot's happened over the last several months. We survived several major crises, gratefully welcomed badly needed new management, worked on legacy issues, and refocused the company on one thing - delivering high quality bone conduction headsets.

This hasn't been an easy road. In fact, there have been multiple times when this company really should have bit the dust bin. We're still on the tight rope, but with much better balancing aids.

There's been a whole lot of soul searching, seat of your pants adaptability, and execute like your life depends on it thinking, and through it all, we're still in there. And with the new management's plan to profitability, we're hangin tough, "Stayin Alive" - great song by the way - we play it almost all the time to remind ourselves we're still in it and still kickin - and working to bring new products into the market in the future. For sure, there will be more bumps and boulders ahead, but we've done a lot to keep us on a steadier heading - and handling.


So, welcome to the Holiday season! In this special issue, we'd like to highlight two users of the Conduit Motions, who both have an occupation that sounds like a mix of both a Las Vegas show and your local freak show act before entering a BDSM dungeon. 

They're both flow artists and fire spinners. A flow artist is a mashup of juggling with hand to hand combat weapons. When you include fire in that mashup, you get a fire spinner.

Photo courtesy of Tony Hitchcock Photography. By the way, this photo is of Dave Nghiem, one of the fire spinners we'll be profiling in this newsletter.


You'll usually find flow artists and fire performers at festivals, EDM festivals, raves, EDM concerts, transformational festivals, professional performances for corporate and community events, and if you're lucky, at a local house gathering of like minded artists.

And because they're spinning fire, safety is their operative word. And having safety with music is fundamental to their art.

We have two flow artists who are both from the Washington D.C. metro area. One is a world famous flow arts teacher and performer, Ben Drexler, who runs the Drex Factor channel. Drex is well known for his instructional videos using props like poi and double staff, and for doing fire and LED flow performances at international and corporate events, worldwide. 

The other artist is David Nghiem, who's a Biomedical Engineer and technologist known for winning the Tech Crunch Disrupt NYC hackathon in 2015, and getting his butt kicked while creating tech startup companies. He's also a Washington D.C. based fire performer.

Ben Drexler, aka Drex, has been spinning fire for over a decade.


Ben Drexler slanging the flame Photo Courtesy of Rob Klug


When he received his set of Conduit Motions, he put them through their paces to see how they would measure up in the flow arts world, and as a result, he put out a really fascinating review of his take on what this technology is used for, and what it can be used for.

Drex goes into a very good non technical person's evaluation of the Conduit Motions, and what he calls, "beaming the sound into your head, like something out of the Jetsons."


You can follow Drex on his instagram.



Our next user profile is David Nghiem. Dave is a biomedical engineer and technologist, with several high profile technology projects over the years on the Hackaday.com website.

Among the things he's famous for is creating a suit where you can control things with your muscles.

And he won the 2015 TechCrunch Disrupt NYC Hackathon with an IoT device he created from a box of scraps.

Not surprisingly, Dave knows his stuff as an engineer. He's also a fire performer and a D.C. bike commuter. And it's in his bicycle commuting that he finds the most use of his set of Conduit Motions. Using the headphones while fire performing is just the icing on the cake for Dave. 

Interviewer: So what got you interested in the Conduit Motions headphones?

Dave: I bike about 20 miles a day. I ride from the outskirts of metro area D.C. into downtown to my co-working space, and back, so I spend about 2 hours on the bike doing battle with traffic. I don't know if you know this, but D.C. drivers are hands down, the worst drivers in America. And I've biked and lived in Boston, NYC, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Sand Diego. Washington D.C. is pure hell when it comes to the capability of the drivers. 

Interviewer: I've heard that. What makes D.C. drivers so awful?

Dave: In my view, D.C. drivers act like New Yorkers, without the New York need, or the New York ability to drive. In NYC, you'll see a lot of drivers who will drive rough, but then you see them pull into a slot with maybe an inch distance from the other two cars. It's amazing. I give New Yorkers props for that. Competent Assholes is what I like to call em. But in D.C., they need at least six feet. That's how bad they are. 

Besides the usual texting while driving, talking on the phone while driving, not paying attention, it's a veritable war zone out there as a bicyclist. Basically, D.C. drivers really should be using Conduit Motions. No seriously, I've seen way too many asshats staring down at the screen or holding a phone to their head. It's nuts out there.

Interviewer: That's bad. So what do you do, bike on the side walks?

Dave: Well, don't tell anybody, because it's illegal to do that, but yes, I will on occasion do that. But most of the time, I just stay hyper aware. I'm always checking over my shoulder. Thing is, my commute has about 7 miles of just back country trails before I hit the urban area, so that's where I like to relax, decompress, and listen to my music and audio books. 

Interviewer: And that's where the Conduit Motions come in?

Dave: Yes! Before I found the Conduit Motions, I used to use a pair of bluetooth earbud headphones. 

Interviewer: What made you choose the Conduit Motions? Well, actually, how did you find out about them?

Dave: I saw a friend of mine wearing them, and I asked him what they were. He said they were bone conduction headphones. Now, I used to do research a long time ago at Boston University's Hearing Research lab when I was an undergrad student in Biomedical Engineering, so I was already familiar with the concept. But when I saw this implementation of them... 

Interviewer: You saw...

Dave: Yeah man, I was floored when I saw this implementation of them. I'm used to seeing things like this deployed in hearing aids, or some bulky kind of crap. I'm an active person. I bike, I run, I do martial arts, most of my workouts are body weight workouts. That means my head is swinging and swaying side to side all the time. Now the frustrating thing about my bluetooth earbuds is the floppy wires that get in the way and yank them off my ear. One time, I got into an accident because of that! 

Interviewer: What happened?

Dave: It was in the dark, my music was blaring, and I didn't hear another cyclist running me over. Mean time, I'm listening to music, and while pumping the pedals, I'm bouncing and the floppy wires on my earbuds got caught on my clothes, and yanked the bud. It was loud, fast, and dude, it was bad, when I collided with the other cyclist. I didn't hear him because my ears were plugged up with the buds, and the yank jolted a loud pop like sound in my ears, and then BAM. There was blood everywhere, all of it from me. So, naturally, I was in the market for something better. A whole lot better.

Interviewer: So you found these.

Dave: Yup. The first time I tried them, it was weird. I couldn't get over the fact that I was hearing the music or my audio books, inside my head. It was like those anime or movies about telepathy. But I got used to it really quick when I put my helmet on. It's sits nicely out of the way of the helmet, and it's low profile is really secure on my head.

Interviewer: What is it like riding with them on?

Dave: It's like someone is inside my head talking to me, while I hear the cars and people on the road. It's great! I can hear some asshat driver trying to run me down, or some cyclist coming up behind me! Even better, I have a soundtrack that I groove to when I ride, and oh man, it's so good. It's this classical/ambient kind of track, like the kind you hear in dreamy movies, and boy it really sets the mood for several miles on the trail. It's best when you ride to the sunset with it. It'll bring tears to your eyes.



Photo courtesy of Ted Nghiem Photography

Interviewer: Whoah! That sounds like a great way to ride back from work! Who's the musician you listen to?

Dave: I love listening to Ott, or Psybient mix tracks that I get off of youtube. 

Interviewer: Got a sample of some of your music for our readership?

Dave: Yep, here's one.



Interviewer: Do you use the headsets for anything else besides music and riding?

Dave: Education. I listen to my audio books when I do my body weight exercises. It's perfect for that. Imagine doing 100 burpees, getting all nasty and sweaty, your face, head, shirt is dripping, you've got sweat all over your headphones, your body, and some dude inside of your head is saying, "There's no replacement to the road of success for persistence. Persistence is the foundational value to succeed, through the best and the worst of it." And mean time, I'm exhausted, covered in my own body's waste products in sweat, and I'm hearing a personal coach saying to keep at it... inside of my head! It's great!

Interviewer: Wow! Now I'm going to have to get a copy of that audio book you're listening to. Thank you for taking the time to talk with us, Dave.

Dave: Thank you! The pleasure is mine. I love the Conduit Motions. 

Thank you, Drex and Dave for your enthusiastic support of our company's products! Though, seriously, take a shower after working out.

And for you dear reader, if you also are like Dave, sweating your butt off working out with the Conduit Motions, which we do encourage, for both your physical, mental health, and overall well being, just remember to wipe em down. Especially if you want to let someone else try them on. Courtesy.

Stay tuned for the next newsletter. And remember, get outside, get fit, and stay safe with our headphones.