_Note is the result of a personal en-devour into the area of consumer audio headphones. In this short conceptual project, the possibility of modular and upgradeable headphones are explored.
A moment of insight resulted in the notion that while many brands cater to either ultra high end users, or the very lowest price ranges, few have ranges that covers both ends of the spectrum to an even level of quality. Even the companies with a full lineup of products, certainly feel to have numerous tradeoff's to reach such price points.
Finally, it was discovered that there is limited options available to allow the user to express their own style and personality once the product had been purchased. In addition to this, the option of upgrading components are often not possible. _Note is a concept aiming to rectify these problems.
UNDERSTANDING THE BASICS
Regardless of the project, the complexity or simplicity that it may entail, I believe in immersing oneself in the details from the start. When designing anything, disassembling something down to components is an easy way to understand why things are done a certain way, but better yet, understand how they can be improved upon.
Never have I ever discovered something important, or solved any real problems by making a beautiful render.
For me, the insights and magic happens here in the rough & dirty sketching stages. As this project became more of a technical one, latches, spring loaded pins and clasps were designed and explored to allow the headphones to become modular.
BUILD FAST. BUILD EARLY.
When designing anything, I believe it is essential to be making anything that is perceived to be a valid solution.
With the use of 3D Printing and reusing electronics from a variety of other projects, it became a viable option to prototype the full scale design. This without question informed the changes and corrections that were needed to finalise the design.
HOW IT WORKS
When designing modular and upgradeable wireless headphones, the main challenge became engineering a viable locking solution to connect the headband to the earcup.
To achieve this, a mechanism comprised of magnetised, sliding latch pins were utilised. When the headband component is aligned with the earcup and driver housing, the magnetised ends help self align the two. When both ends snap together, the retractable pins and guided along a track beneath the surface to a locking position. Each pin will remain latched until the user presses the release buttons, causing the latch pins to retract and release the earcup and driver housing from the headband.
HEADPHONE OPTIONAL UPGRADES