Audiophile Headphones

Motivo packaged electronics, developed kinetic mechanisms, and managed production hand-off of this high-end personal audio product.
CLIENT

Audeze is a leader in the high-end personal audio market. They seek to remove the boundaries between the artist, the recording, and the listener. Their state-of-the-art planar magnetic audio drivers are highly regarded by audiophiles, and their headphones have been rated best-in-class for their accuracy and sound reproduction.

REQUIREMENTS

The customer sought to develop a luxurious headphone exterior that paralleled their breakthrough driver developments. The mechanical feel of the headphone had to inspire confidence and quality during normal use.

CHALLENGE

Motivo was approached for mechanical engineering support to develop a line of headphones inspired by the success of their previous hand-made models. The challenge was to develop a headphone with aesthetics and mechanical qualities that reflect the sound quality. A low-profile industrial design, large volume required by sound-producing elements, and critical importance of a satisfying tactile experience created a perfect storm for packaging and mechanical engineering efforts. The audio connector, swivel, and tilt mechanisms needed to be novel, custom designs to achieve the user experience commanded by a high-quality headphone. After kicking off industrial design concepts, the customer requested production samples within 5 months.

MOTIVO’S SOLUTION

Motivo and its partners captured the total experience: charismatic exterior, clever mechanisms, and vivid audio. In order to facilitate a modern design language, Motivo teamed up with one of its trusted design partners, BMW DesignWorks USA. Motivo’s engineering team creatively packaged the electronics without disturbing the subtle profile of the design rendering, and achieved smooth and satisfying operation of the kinetic mechanisms without interfering with the sound-producing components. In addition to product development, Motivo lent its program management support during the hand off to the production partner. The management team ensured a successful transfer of design intent, engineering decision paths, and product quality expectations.

OUTCOME/TIME TO COMPLETION

The final product reflects the intense levels of design focus and engineering determination. The production hand-off occurred in June 2014 with first samples arriving in November. The product was announced at CES 2015 and began shipping to customers in April 2015.

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