DesiGood Morning everyone,
I am excited to unveil the design for our VK-X wireless headphones this morning. As we have mentioned in previous, the visual representations of the design will only be made available until Midnight today to avoid any leaks before the official launch campaign and the publication of our official photos.
I am inviting you to join us on the webinar that I have organized for this morning at 11 AM (EDT).
The following is the link to join the live webinar: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_OdHWQWIKQDi1cGfFaUPyuw
1) Our design approach
Offer an alternative to what has previously existed is my primary motivation and vision since our launch in 2012. This is our point of departure as well as the base for each and every new product we create. We prioritize the design of our products, as it is not only what makes us different but also what makes us stand out in the headphone market.
For each classification of the object we are working on, we are sensitive to its temporal nature and we look to find a certain singularity and intemporality in our designs. In function of technological changes and our growing understanding of the market, we are able to preserve this design while constantly evolving our products. As a result, to change the design of one our previous headphones, for example that of the VK series, would be to completely redefine our definition of what a quality headphone means, as if our past work should be redefined. We seek a single, unified definition for each of our lines: VK, ODS, etc.
This last objective obviously becomes an important mechanical constraint as technology changes: adapting the newest technology to fit our intemporal design is a technical challenge that we face with each update of our existing products.
2) The VK-X
For the VK-X, we have preserved the design of the VK series. The principle mechanical constraint for us has been adapting the technology of wireless headphones to fit the design of our signature aluminium ear cups as well as our minimal leather headband connecting our headphones. Our working guidelines have been to remain simple and to seek minimalism in each and every choice, in a way that the functional aspect may remain unified with an elegant design, avoiding unnecessary changes. As for our other VK headphones, we have worked with the designer Eugeni Quitllet, in order to transform our goals and constraints into a beautiful design object. I am presenting here below the broad design points, which were utilised in the design of the VK-X.
An over-ear headphone
The VK-X is an over-ear headphone, a choice that we made to increase the comfort of our headphones and to reduce overall pressure on the ears. This choice was also made to further isolate sound thanks to the new design of our larger ear cushions.
Headphone Control: Appearance of headphone controls
For the wireless VK-X headphones, we had to reimagine how we control our headphones. We decided to use visible, streamlined buttons, inspired by analogue knobs from high-end amplifiers, which give the user the sensation of control and reliability. As a result, you will find on the left headphone a simple button, which will control “intelligent” features of the VK-X (start, stop, pairing feature) and, on the right side, a knob allowing to control the “audio” features of the VK-X (sound, next song, pause, accept phone call). We did not want to use a touch control features as we found them to not be very practical, but would also have been an important design constraint which would have forced us to divide our single unit-aluminum ear cups in two. As you can see, our two control features will be a new design element, creating a streamlined design by appearing to be a prolongation of the unit connecting the leather headband and the aluminum cups.
Light Indicator: studying a discrete LED
This part of our design is still ongoing an represents an important design challenge for us. We would like to create a halo light around the “intelligence” control feature on the left side of the headphone so that the VK-X can “communicate” with the user. This discrete LED light will not blink, but will radiate during use of the wireless headphone and will communicate with the user thanks to different colors to the rhythm of respiration (no blue light, not harsh on the eyes, colors that are warm and reassuring)
Difficulties and unknown design challenges
To date, the design of our wireless headphones is all but finished; however there are still some difficulties and unknown design challenges. The principle reason for these difficulties, as mentioned in previous, is a problem of space, as certain design features must still be incorporated into the design of the VK-X,
- The light indicator, including the position of the LED lights as well as the guide light to ensure a seamless experience
- The possibility of a battery that may be replaced by the user, which was a feedback we had heard from a number of users. In fact, in order to maximise the life of our battery, we will have to maximise its size within the ear cups, which means that it will not be easily accessible. This represents a challenge if we are considering the option of user replaceable batteries.
Concerning the comfort of the VK-X, the form and the angle by which we position the over-hear cushions will also be an important element. I am working on different prototype solutions, in order to test a number of possibilities and will certainly keep you apprised as we move forward on this point.
Please do not hesitate to react 🙂