LUNAR recently hosted its first livestream teardown with Fictiv, manufacturer of 3D printed and CNC machined parts. We decided to shake things up a bit and open up our process to the community in conjunction with this teardown veteran. Together, we agreed that one compelling product to dissect would be our Alpine Headphones, a 2016 iF Product Design Award winner.
Alpine wanted to extend their brand to a younger audience and came to us with an idea for headphones specifically targeting EDM market, a natural extension of their core products—premium car audio with awesome bass. These headphones would allow them to establish an iconic presence and provide a similar experience in a portable form. They came to LUNAR with a proof of concept, and left with sensational headphones that truly enhance the senses so customers can better hear and actually feel their music.
In this one hour event, we set out to focus on two main components of the Alpine Headphones:
Challenges + solutions around designing the headband/transducer structure –
We needed to capture and transmit vibration, achieve a minimum and repeatable clamping force without making the headphone uncomfortable.
Product design insights around the ear cup adjustment & pivot mechanism –
Most headphones on the market have a simple folding hinge for storage. While this is generally perceived as the compact way to store headphones, we took another route with the industrial design—a more seamless look that doesn’t show the hinge. Our pivot mechanism allows for a slim profile that lays flat in order to slip easily into a bag for transport. The adjustment mechanism is hidden from view, providing a clever way to manage the internal wiring while allowing for the full range of head sizes.
Dave Evans, CEO of Fictiv, led the discovery process during the teardown. From LUNAR, Senior Industrial Designer Terence Kwan and Director of Engineering Andrew Zee joined to shed light on the design and engineering decisions for each component of the headphones.