What if Apple made hi-end Siri-enabled smart headphones?

Probably the only thing missing from Apple’s product roster is a pair of over-the-ear headphones. Apple has already developed and seen a fair share of success in the Airpods, and the Homepod (although the Homepod’s acceptance has been slightly underwhelming). The two products are immaculately engineered, and feature Apple’s very own Voice AI, Siri. The Airpods work with the iPhone, while the Homepod works independently, like all smart speakers. There is, however, a puzzle piece missing. The Airpods are a champion of portability but aren’t a hi-fi audio solution, and the Homepod boasts of a sound quality that Apple claims is unmatchable, but it isn’t portable… the most obvious bridge between the two would be a pair of professional-grade, studio-quality wireless smart headphones.

The designers at CURVED/Labs imagined what this bridge would look like. Taking very strong design cues from the Homepod, these smart headphones boast of large audio drivers that deliver spectacular sound, along with a touch-sensitive panel that lets you tap and swipe to access the headphone’s smart features. The headphones even pay tribute to the Homepod with the colored waveform-graphic found on the Homepod’s touch-panel, and the faux-weave texture around it. I imagine the headphones also pack noise-canceling, as is expected with high-quality audio products, and from the looks of it, these concept headphones even come with a neat wireless charging dock/hanger. The Airpods do work with Android phones, so it’s safe to imagine that these headphones would too, but just like the Airpods, functionality would be extremely limited, and the touch panel wouldn’t be of much use.

Although there’s no word on what one would call these conceptual headphones, the chaps at Gear Patrol quite aptly point out that the suffix ‘Pod’ is synonymous with all of Apple’s audio products, so our best guess would be something on the lines of Apple Studiopod, or Airpod XL, or my personal favorite, the Airpod Pro!

Designer: CURVED/Labs

apple_studiopods_1

apple_studiopods_2

apple_studiopods_3

apple_studiopods_4

apple_studiopods_5

apple_studiopods_6

apple_studiopods_7

apple_studiopods_8

apple_studiopods_9

apple_studiopods_10

apple_studiopods_11

apple_studiopods_12

apple_studiopods_13

Eclipse Zero Sound is an aesthetic hollow

eclipse_zero_feature

A smart speaker with Bluetooth capabilities, the Eclipse Zero Sound is a very aesthetically design device. Although we are not sure about the specs, the design aspect of the speakers is up for discussion here. Much like a hollow pillow, the ring of speakers helps with the acoustics. I use a Bose Soundlink Revolve + and its tower – lantern shape with a special carry-handle, makes it kinds kitsch. So when I compare the Eclipse Zero Sound as an alternative, I think the square-ring will probably belt out better sounding music towards you. I also like the fact that you can hang the Eclipse Zero Sound on the wall, or put it on a stand. This makes it versatile in placement and portable.

Designer: BKID

eclipse_zero5

eclipse_zero4

eclipse_zero2

eclipse_zero

eclipse_zero3

eclipse_zero7

eclipse_zero8

eclipse_zero6

Treat YOYO Self To a Sweet Speaker

speaker_01

The YOYO speaker earns its namesake for the innovative strap design that makes it easy to carry. The strap can be concealed simply by wrapping it around the middle and released with one swift pull. Once released, the wireless device can be hung on your bicycle handles, a tree while you picnic, or a backpack during a hike. Covered in a waterproof tweed-like fabric that comes in a variety of vibrant hues, there’s one to match every user’s distinct taste and style.

Designer: LASCH+PRILLWITZ DESIGN

speaker_02

speaker_03

speaker_04

speaker_05

speaker_06

speaker_07

speaker_08

speaker_09

speaker_10

speaker_11

speaker_12

The Accessport Air brings Bluetooth 5.0 to your trusty wired headphones

The world changed as we knew it in 2016 when Apple announced that their phones would no longer carry the 3.5mm headphone jack. They were obviously pushing for wireless audio, as they also launched the AirPods that year. As with everything Apple does, the entire industry followed, dropping the jack from their smartphones, resulting in an awkwardly high amount of wired headphones now becoming undesirable. See, wired headphones may be a sort of nuisance, but some of the best headphones in the world are wired, not to mention wired earphones are much more reasonably priced than their wireless alternatives.

If you’re like me, and you have a wired headphone that you’d love to use with your smartphone but can’t, the future isn’t too entirely bleak. You can either spring for a dongle, which makes sense for a while, but when you migrate to a new phone from a different company, that dongle is essentially useless… or you can take your old earphones/headphones and turn them wireless. It’s as simple as plugging it into a Bluetooth transmitter, which in this case, is the Accessport Air. Bluetooth transmitters come a dime a dozen but not many of them boast of the kind of features you’d find in the Accessport Air. Built with Bluetooth 5.0, aptX high-resolution audio playback, low latency for gaming, and 9 hours of playback on a single charge, the Accessport Air works with all phones that have Bluetooth and all playback devices.

I ended the last paragraph with the words ‘playback devices’ on purpose. The Accessport Air doesn’t just make your wired headphones or earphones wireless. It works with speakers, amplifiers, and even your car audio system. Basically anything that can connect to the Accessport Air via its 3.5mm audio input can be made wireless. Using the Air is as simple as plugging the playback device in, switching the Air on, and connecting to it with your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. In order to give your playback devices the power of Bluetooth 5.0, the Accessport Air comes with an internal battery that lasts for 9 hours on a single charge. Enough to watch movies, play games, listen to long playlists at the gym, at work, or on the subway, or even connect to your car audio system for those long drives!

Designer: Peter Yoon of ADVANCED SOUND GROUP

Click Here To Buy Now: $29.00

accessport_air_1

accessport_air_2

accessport_air_3

accessport_air_4

accessport_air_5

accessport_air_6

accessport_air_7

accessport_air_8

accessport_air_9

accessport_air_10

Click Here To Buy Now: $29.00

Lenovo’s ultraportable speaker is as slim and small as your phone

The Lenovo 700 Ultraportable Bluetooth Speaker is quite literally the most portable one ever. Most portable Bluetooth speakers are portable alright, but they aren’t slip-into-your-pocket portable. Audio drivers tend to have depth/thickness to them, resulting in speakers that may be small and lightweight, but are almost always chunky too, making them ideal for laptop bags, but not pant pockets.

Lenovo’s latest offering wants to be the kind of Bluetooth speaker you carry around with you, the way you carry your phone. Designed to be pretty much the same size as the phone you have, the Lenovo 700 slides right into most pockets with ease. At just 11mm thick, it’s probably the slimmest Bluetooth speaker to exist, and can fit into your pocket without you even noticing the difference. However, take it out and tap it against your phone and the Lenovo 700 becomes a speaker worth noticing. Built with NFC and Bluetooth 5.0, the speaker pairs with your device almost instantly when brought close to it, and a set of controls located on the base of the speaker grill let you toggle through your music and even answer and reject your calls.

Given that the Lenovo 700 is too thin to stand on its own and needs to be placed lying down, the speakers are built to push sound outward in 360°, rather than just upwards. This approach makes it easy to listen to your music no matter where you are in relation to the speaker. The speaker provides 8 hours of use on a completely charged battery (which takes two hours to charge to 100%), and even comes with an IPX2 rating, making it splashproof. Designed to be carried everywhere you carry your smartphone, the Lenovo 700 was made to be used both indoors and outdoors, at work or at home, and even be the speaker-of-choice to take to the gym or even the poolside.

The speakers were a part of Lenovo’s CES 2019 showcase, but are yet to be launched.

Designer: Lenovo

lenovo_700_ultraportable_speaker_1

lenovo_700_ultraportable_speaker_2

lenovo_700_ultraportable_speaker_3

The Modern Day Discman

skinny_discman_layout

Things have come a long way from the Sony Diskman from the ’80s! No larger than a watch face, the Skinny Player is exactly as it sounds. Designed for those moments you want to take your music on the run but don’t want headphones and don’t want to lug around a large Bluetooth speaker, it can attach anywhere from your shirt collar to your backpack for quick, light, and easy listening that won’t weigh you down. Synced with your phone’s library, it packs a powerful punch in a pint-sized package that you can take just about anywhere.

Designer: Ju-Huai Lin

skinny_11

skinny_02

skinny_03

skinny_discman_01

skinny_05

skinny_discman_02

skinny_06

skinny_07

skinny_08

skinny_09

YD JOB ALERT: Bang & Olufsen is looking for a CMF Designer

bang_olufsen_job_layout

Bang & Olufsen was founded by Peter Bang and Sven Olufsen in 1925, starting with manufacturing radios and growing to become one of the world’s best producers of high-end audio equipment with a design style that’s sculptural, and that puts form on a pedestal, without sacrificing function. B&O has a distinctive design appeal that Wired described as “quality media delivery via striking objects”. The company is looking for a seasoned CMF designer to join their team in Copenhagen, Denmark.

THE OPPORTUNITY

Do you have 3+ years of experience working with color, materials and finish, and would you like to use this experience in the design of Bang & Olufsen’s luxury lifestyle audio products? And are you looking for an opportunity to:
– Improve your CMF design skills and apply them to Bang & Olufsen products?
– Join one of the best-known luxury brands in the world?
– Gain an international network of competent and collaborative colleagues?

Join the Design team
As our new CMF designer, you will join the Design team in Lyngby, Denmark, consisting of 6 design managers with different competencies. Together with colleagues based in Lyngby, Struer and Singapore, we participate in cross-functional projects, contributing with our product design expertise. Doing so, we work as one team to share knowledge, run design reviews and provide feedback on a weekly basis. And now, we are looking to expand our CMF team with a designer.

Implement world-class CMF across Bang & Olufsen’s luxury products
As our new CMF designer, you will work closely with our CMF manager to implement colour, materials and textures across speakers, headphones and earphones. Working with inline products, special editions as well as fashion and interior collections, you will ensure that our products live up to our CMF strategy.

RESPONSIBILITIES

– Design and visualize versions of existing products by applying color, texture and materials
– Create CMF briefs and specifications based on CMF strategies, brand language and manager input
– Work closely with manufacturing teams to ensure they understand specifications and deliver quality execution
– Engage with external partners such as agencies, suppliers and artists, e.g. international musicians and athletes, for our fashion and – interior collections, ensuring compliance with our CMF strategy
– Play a major role in managing our overall color activities across inline products, collections and special editions
– You can expect approx. 20 travel days a year to review color samples at supplier factories in China.

REQUIREMENTS

– You have 3+ years of experience from a CMF position within fashion, lifestyle, design or consumer electronics
– You can tell a compelling CMF story
– You have knowledge of all phases of the CMF design process – from palette development through manufacturing and sample approvals
– You are fluent in spoken and written English
– You thrive in a fast-paced environment
– You master Photoshop and Keyshot, and experience with Grasshopper is a plus
– As a person, you have excellent collaboration skills, and you know how to reach results through teamwork. It comes naturally to you to coordinate your own tasks and drive many projects at a time.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For additional information about the position, please contact Head of Design Michael König on +45-42414261.
Applications are continuously assessed, so please send your application as soon as possible.

LOCATION

Copenhagen, Denmark

CLICK HERE TO APPLY

Visit our Job Board to view similar jobs or to post a Job Opening.

The Modern-Day Record Player!

pointline_record_player_layout

This strikingly designed record player beautifully blurs the boundaries between digital and physical media! Packed full of carefully thought out design features, this is undeniably a bold contrast from more traditional record players… and that’s why we love it!

The geometric form of the body is aggressively interrupted by the asymmetric cut-out, where the vinyl is positioned, creating a sense of imbalance and suspense that elevates the visual interest of the device greatly! A repetitive and uniform surface pattern has been introduced to the sides of the device, this not only breaks up the expansive sides but also allows for the sound from the in-built speakers to escape through.

One of the top corners has been manipulated to house a control dial; this design feature blends the flat top of the device into the vertical walls and breaks up the blocky form! So many more of these quirky features have been intertwined into the product, making it an attention-demanding device!

Designer: Xundi Li

pointline_record_player_01

pointline_record_player_02

pointline_record_player_03

pointline_record_player_04

These Lenovo headphones are (theoretically) out-of-the-box

McLaren

Titled the SoundCube, Eric Guack’s concept headphones for Lenovo literally come with a hexagonal design. Yes, the cups are hexagons too! The boxy, yet out-of-the-box approach to headphones makes them stand out, while the cube shape definitely helps it stand out from the other circular or elliptical headphone designs.

The headphones are pretty straightforward. They come with an on-off switch, and work both wirelessly or with an aux-cable. They even charge using contact-pins at the base, which means no ugly USB ports… just a clean, eye-catching design, and good sound quality that’s expected from a company like Lenovo!

Designer: Erik Yongook Guack

McLaren

McLaren

McLaren

McLaren

McLaren

Dolby’s latest headphones bring the cinema to your ears

Dolby, the company famed and revered for its cinematic audio technology, and the company that practically pioneered surround sound, is now entering the headphone market with the Dimension… a wireless, noise-canceling pair of cans that come with touch-sensitive controls on the headphone’s body.

It’s worth noting that while this isn’t the first wireless pair of headphones on the market by a far stretch (or even on this website), this is the first pair of headphones powered by Dolby’s audio tuning software, so you can expect some spectacular sound. The headphones come with volume controls accessible by the touch panel on the headphones, as well as the ability to pair with and alternate between 8 devices. Toggling between devices is as simple as pressing down on grooves in the leather trim on the headphone’s body.

The Dimension comes with audio technology that truly speaks of Dolby’s decades of audio software development. The headphones come built with 40mm drivers and ANC (auto noise cancelation) that can be controlled via a mobile app, letting you quite literally choose what sort of noise to cancel, and by how much. The headphones work remarkably well to deliver an expansive sound experience (content created in Dolby Atmos especially shines through with the promise of spectacular audio quality), and even feature a head-tracking experience that allows you to move your head around, while maintaining the relative position of the audio source. For example, a sound coming from the left stays on the left, no matter where your head is facing. The head-tracking feature would be promising when VR content begins rolling out.

Dolby’s Dimension is the perfect cross between pure entertainment headphones and smartphone-ready headphones. They feature decades of Dolby’s engineering capabilities to deliver a remarkable media experience when paired with your TV or home theater, while at the same time work well with your smartphone too, allowing you to accept and reject calls, play/pause music, or even toggle your Voice Assistant. The headphones come with a wireless charging dock (which have a rather unique way of nesting the Dimension headphones) and on a full charge, the Dimension can deliver an incredible 15 hours of continuous playback… which can only be a good thing because with Dolby’s world-class audio engineering nestled right against my ears, I probably wouldn’t notice the 15 hours fly right by!

Designer: Dolby

dolby_dimension_1

dolby_dimension_2

dolby_dimension_3

dolby_dimension_4

dolby_dimension_5

dolby_dimension_6

dolby_dimension_7

dolby_dimension_8