OSSIC X 3D Audio Headphone
CREATIVE DIRECTION, PRODUCT DESIGN
In 2014 I heard a very rough prototype of an incredible 3D audio technology by a small startup called OSSIC. The team was just coming out of stealth mode, and after one listen and I knew I had to help them bring their idea to the world. With immersive and interactive content on the rise, there is an ever-increasing need for spatial audio experiences to match.
I worked directly with the internal engineering team and designer Patrick Triato to help craft the overall design aesthetic and vision for OSSIC's first product, the OSSIC X 3D-audio headphone, from initial sketches through to the final product. The result was an award-winning manufactured product that ended becoming the #1 crowdfunded VR project of all time.
The challenge was to define a product aesthetic that was unique enough to highlight the groundbreaking 3D-audio experience inside without being overbearing. We wanted to show and inspire, not shout. Physically the product needed to be larger than most headphones in order to incorporate the multitude of sensors, speaker drivers, and necessary technology to enable the 3D audio experience. Instead of hiding from the size, we leveraged it to make a statement of robustness, quality, and authority while simultaneously using minimal lines and subtle materials to maintain a certain degree of balance and minimalism. The perfectly circular earcups were inspired by the 360 degrees of sound, adding to the subtle reminders of the experience inside.
REACTIONS TO 3D AUDIO
“It was the first time I was able to experience sound outside of being in the center of my head. . .it was really revolutionary”
- Ty Ahmad-Taylor, Former CEO of THX Limited
The OSSIC X is a true blend of hardware and software, combining sophisticated algorithms with sensor fusion to enable 3D audio experiences like never before. Working with our internal design team and UX designer Joel Paynel, we developed the visual aesthetic surrounding a suite of software applications that would help form the core of an ever-advancing 3D-audio technology platform.