Mar 9, 2016 | By Benedict

Vie Style Inc. has launched a Kickstarter for VIE SHAIR, the “pain-free social headphones” which float their speakers just above your ear. Prototypes of the headphones were 3D printed on Stratasys and MakerBot 3D printers.

Tired of having sweaty, painful ears after hours of headphone use? A new product from Vie Style, the brainchild of former Warner Music Japan executive Yazz Imamura, could be music to your ears. The startup’s VIE SHAIR headphones have been designed to completely eliminate the problems associated with continuous headphone use, by floating the speaker just above the ear on a 3D modeled cage.

Promising “less stress and no sweat”, VIE SHAIR also allows the user to interact more fully with their environment. Days of missing phone calls, shouts, and fire alarms because of enclosed headphones will be over, as the small air gaps under the VIE SHAIR speakers allow the user to hear both their personal audio and the outside world with perfect clarity. Need some privacy? The company has also created an interchangeable enclosed cage for maximum comfort and minimal disturbance.

Vie Style was able to model the innovative headphones with utmost precision thanks to 3D printing technology. The company showed off its new product At CES 2016, where staff explained how both MakerBot and Stratasys 3D printers were used for real-time rapid prototyping. With these 3D printed headphone prototypes, the startup was able to perform a fit and form check, before deciding on a final design from which 30 sets of production parts were manufactured.

Stop right there, because we know what you’re thinking: headphones with exposed speakers sounds like a recipe for disaster. Public transport, restaurants, peaceful parks… Since even regular headphones can be loud and annoying in these situations, won’t exposed speakers be even worse? “It’s important that you, and only you, can hear the sound of your headphones,” reassured Andrew Dunbar, Vie Style COO and another former Warner employee. “VIE SHAIR is designed with directional flat speakers which produce amazing sound quality and yet focus the sound directly to your ears to keep what you’re listening to private.”

Convinced? The headphones certainly have the technical specs to justify their $199 (early bird) price tag. VIE SHAIR uses advanced MACH-5 audio tech from global musical equipment manufacturer Yamaha, features 3-band equalizer settings, and even boasts an audio broadcasting and pairing feature which enables multiple VIE SHAIR users to share their audio with one another. The headsets also look pretty cool: LED lights adorn the rims of each speaker, which flash in your choice of five colors as you dance the night away.

To bring VIA SHAIR into production, Vie Style has set a $150,000 goal for its Kickstarter campaign. 55 backers have already pledged in support of the campaign, with most opting for the $199 super early bird headphones, available in black or white (yellow, pink, or blue for $19 extra). Backers can also receive discounts on orders for multiple sets of headphones. The first products will ship in November 2016.



Posted in 3D Printing Application



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