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Modular Headphones Let You Personalize Your Audio-Visual Styles

Modular Headphones Let You Personalize Your Audio-Visual Styles
technology

AXEL’s Spotify-powered web app guides you in building a customized listening experience

Vashti Hallissey
  • 26 may 2015

Up until now, customizing your headphones has meant choosing the color, adjusting the size or changing the volume of your product. An innovation offers a more tailored solution, with specifically engineered speaker units that are designed to match your listening preferences. You can even use an app to analyze all of your music on Spotify to find out which soundscape would suit you best.

AXEL by AXEL AUDIO is a set of modular headphones with engineered speaker units, also known as soundscapes, which are designed to suit three different types of listening style.

There are three options to choose from—Pure, Deep and Core— which offer distinct audio experiences.

Kevin Oh, Co-Founder of AXEL AUDIO, told PSFK:

Today, given our unprecedented access, music is becoming ever more personal. Knowing this, we wanted to create audio products that could answer to the depths of personality and taste—to be understood by the vastest array of unique listeners. Our goal is to return control to them by using real preferences to personalize everything from sound and design to the buying experience.

The Deep soundscape drives rhythmic patterns with reverberating lows, which is particularly suited for hip-hop, dance and electronic genres. Pure offers a refined and open sound, which complements ambient, jazz, classical and folk genres, whereas Core provides dynamic sound with smooth textures and a sweet mid-range. Core is best suited to contemporary, pop and rock genres.

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If you’re not sure which Soundscape would suit you, you can use an app to give you a definitive answer. AXEL’s Spotify-powered web app analyses your music, utilizing over 1,200 genre tags and music algorithms from The Echo Nest, to tell you whether you’re Pure, Deep or Core.

You can also customise the way your headphones look. First of all, customers choose between on-ear speaker units—which are compact and versatile, and over-ear speaker units, which offer a more spacious sound stage. Each of these features a leatherette cushion with memory foam for improved comfort.

Oh explains:

One of the design problems we find in most headphones is their fixed, rigid nature. Our goal was to make the elements of how people look, listen and feel as fluid as possible. So, we wanted the experience to begin as a neutral, blank slate—one that enables users to create and customize to their own liking.

 

Your headphones arrive disassembled with building instructions and three different headband inserts: Classics, Spikes and Waves. You can put your headphones together with any one of these interchangeable part at any time, choosing the shape that best suits your mood.

AXEL has raised $122, 279 from 470 people on Kickstarter to date, which is about 68% of its target goal of $180,000, with 12 days remaining.

 

Kickstarter supporters have access to headphones which are marked down from the projected retail price of $150-$180, beginning at $125 for an on-ear headphone set. The sets are available in black or white, and each supporter will receive an exclusive glow-in-the-dark green Waves insert.

Following the Kickstarter campaign, AXEL AUDIO plans to add more designs and colors to the headphone options, as well as developing the soundscapes. It would also like to expand the app’s capability to analyse music across different digital music platforms, and to include wireless capabilities within the product.

They also plan to “launch in-earphone and bluetooth speaker lines, which will be aligned with the same Soundscape concept,” says Oh.

AXEL has gone beyond visual customisation, enabling users to personalise the product’s sound to their listening style. It points to a future in which headphones will be customized both inside and outside, creating enhanced audio experiences that are tailored to the user’s musical taste.

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