2017 / Media And Home Electronics / TV, Video and Audio Equipment / Professional

HiFiMAN HE1000

  • Prizes
    Silver in Media and Home Electronics/TV, Video and Audio Equipment
  • Company
    HiFiMAN, United States
  • Lead Designer
    Carol Catalano
  • Design Team
    Dr. Fang Bian
  • Client
  • Project Link

In high-end headphones, planar magnetic technology offers
incredible sound quality. Historically though, this technology
burdens products with high weight and poor ergonomics
making planar headphones uncomfortable to wear for long
periods of time. High-end audio company, HiFiMAN, already
recognized for outstanding sound quality, wanted a headphone
with style and comfort, commensurate with its sound.

When HIFIMAN set out to create this flagship product, their
goal was to create the best headphone in the world. As the
designer, our goal was for the HE1000 V2 to represent a new
pact between HIFIMAN and the audio world: to embrace a
commitment to beauty, comfort, and manufacturing quality as
well as groundbreaking sound.
Careful ergonomic study and iterative testing comprised the
foundation upon which we built key aspects of the design. Our
study of the skull and ears led us to design the asymmetrical
form of the ear cup, which we developed to create an even
seal around the ear while providing a large surface area for the
planar magnetic driver.

The goal for the headband design was to set a new standard
for comfort in large planar magnetic headphones. We created
a generous area of contact to distribute weight evenly and
eliminated all unnecessary parts to create unparalleled comfort
for the headphones which are often worn for hours on end.
We employed manufacturing techniques for molding high
quality plywood in the furniture industry to produce the
lightweight durable wood rings for the ear cups that encase
the drivers.

The window shade grill system was designed to provide both
driver protection, and greater openness for the open back
design that yields the best possible sound quality.

Finally, the overall physical structure of the assembly took on a
minimalist design to save precious weight, reducing the piece
to its essence.

Photo Credit: Hifiman