Introducing Smart HiFi
Beyerdynamic is a traditional headphone manufacturer, specialized in high-end studio equipment. So far they have been relying on cable-bound hardware, but since Bluetooth is now also allowing for high-quality transmission with the apt.X codec they chose to expand their portfolio with wireless headphones. Wireless means digital and digital means you can easily customize your headphones via an app on your smartphone. Together with beyerdynamic we want to explore which features people expect and appreciate, to create a true added value for the user.
Our job was to find the best possible way to get this information to the workers.
Who is the audience?
As a high-end headpone company beyerdynamic is mainly targeting audiophile professionals. Most of their customers have been loyal to the brand for years because they trust in its quality. They have an expectation for crafty solutions with love for details.
The Design Process
The most important goal for the app was to make the headphones unique features available to the user. We did not want to recreate something that may be loosely connected to headphones, but is not the core competency of beyerdynamic (e.G. controlling spotify). We believe this app should create it’s value out of being a digital extension of the product. Like this you can customize the touch sensivity, adjust the sound to your hearing profile or monitor the amount of sound that hits your ear. So we mainly emphasize on customization and quantification as key values for the app.
Key Screens – Profile
In collaboration with Mimi Hearing Technologies beyerdynamic is able to offer a hearing test, which you can do to personalize your headphones to your individual hearing profile. This means that certain frequency bands get adapted in a way you can enjoy the music how it was meant to be by the artist.
Key Screens – Sound statistics
With a special algorithm the headphones are able to measure the absolute level of sound that the ears are exposed to. Like this it is possible to avoid the danger of exposing your ears to too much noise which would in the end lead to hearing loss. Taking into account that the target group of audiophile professionals earn money with their sense of hearing this feature is very important. This is why we gave it also an important visual representation that shows the exposure over 24 hours. 288 lines over 360° of a circle represent the day, each line representing 5 minutes. Over the course of those 5 minutes each respective line grows and changes its color from green (low exposure) to red (high) depending on what you are listening to and how loud you do it. After 5 minutes the next line starts. Like this you can immediately see and analyze your individual sound exposure of the day with all its peaks and lows. On top there is a simple verbal explanation of the analysis.
Key Screens – Touch Commands
In a combined view it is possible to identify the possible touch commands and additionally to change the sensivity of the headphone touch field.
Key Screens – Onboarding
On the first time opening the app you get guided through the bluetooth pairing process.