Established audio brands such as Sony, Bose and Koss have a longstanding history with offering quality sound. However, newer competitors are leveraging design to cater to an audience that are excited about headphones as a lifestyle product. There is an opportunity to design headphones that fit as both a performance and lifestyle product.
Wood offers character, charm and personality. Successful audio startups such as LSTN and Grain Audio, are leveraging the unique design and performance qualities of wood to create a listening experience that stands out.
Given the acoustic and aesthetic benefits that wood offers as a material, it's still a labour intensive material to work with. Extensive material research was done to find an alternative material that could perform well acoustically and be feasible to manufacture.
Wood is less suitable for an assembly line. Every piece has a unique grain pattern, each part has to be crafted by hand.
Dimensionally stable, can be molded countless times, has a high yield rate and reduced cost per unit.
Arboform offers the molding capabilities of plastic while retaining the acoustic and aesthetic properties of wood.
Arboform is a thermoplastic made from lignin, a natural polymer, by-product of the paper industry.
The diaphram or speaker cone is a thin material that produces sound through vibration. The more rigid, fluid and stable the material, the clearer the sound. Biocellulose is remarkably stable at high frequencies, creating minimal audio distortion, delivering high sound clarity and detail.
One of the most common complaints with over ear headphones is discomfort after prolonged use. Clarino leather is microporous, allowing heat and vapour to pass through. Its also resistant to tearing an will not dry out or become brittle
The first pair of headphones were invented in1910 by Nathaniel Baldwin while attending Standford University. Pilots were among the first users of headsets, the aircraft industry set a demand for headsets that were light and comfortable. The stylistic direction takes inspiration from aviation history and heritage.
Conveying Rhythm Through Form
I explored ways to convey a sense of rhythm and movement by giving the earcups a sculptural, fluid form. Arboform has a distinctive appearance and finish, so the housing form needed to spark interest and encourage users to feel the material.