Ugly prototypes

Prototyping is all about proof of concept and fast fails.  As you can see I am totally not focussed on aesthetics when prototyping functional new  earphones.

Below is a bit of insight into my design development cycle.

Earphone development can be roughly separated in to three stages:
      1) target profile definition
      2) technical product development
      3) shell design

Many factors need to be taken into account such as ...
  • target sound signature and acoustic performance
  • shape (size, ergonomics)
  • price / target market
  • cost of goods
  • platform considerations
I usually create a target product profile incldss target performance criteria to meet and start development according to those. Sometimes I also to life cycle manage existing products, e.g. to cater changes in parts that are no longer available or increase flexibility of the platforms (eg. additional connector options).

Once I have defined the target I start development and for most new earphones this starts with experiments around the acoustic stage, so combinations of drivers, the crossover electronics and sound duct shape.