I’ll admit, I have an affinity for all things audio, so this list was bound to happen at some point! Audio isn’t, however, just a passion of mine… it’s also a massive industry that grows as the smartphone industry grows, because music and entertainment play a major role in the smartphone experience. We’ve seen a lot of growth in the truly-wireless audio wearable department (I even got my hands on the TicPods featured below… review pending) as well as the smart-speaker making its way into the homes of as much as 60% of all smartphone users, indicating a massive growth for the voice assistant too.
2019 should see voice-search really kick off, with the user being able to talk to their homes, cars, and everything else. 5G may just deliver on that promise, allowing products to communicate with each other effectively, while we finally learn to talk to our machines, rather than press buttons or type in commands… but I digress. Let’s take a second to appreciate how good 2018 has been for audio, both personal and domestic… and let’s hope we see some great products in 2019, including the new edition of the Apple AirPods!
The Infinitum takes the existing design and tweaks it to create a new and improved experience. The iconic sound-hole is bid adieu for four ‘vents’ on the front and back that allow the sound to emanate outwards in a way that makes it easy for the player as well as the audience to hear the music.
Is that a new iPod?! Nope! It’s the new Apple Watch in its coolest, old-schoolest external case yet!
The knob on the left controls volume, while the one on the right, rather interestingly, allows you to adjust noise-cancellation, pretty letting you decide the volume of external noise too.
The Red Dot and iF Design Award winning TicPods make a bulletproof case against most wireless earbuds, especially the AirPods.
The geometric form of the body is aggressively interrupted by the asymmetric cut-out, where the vinyl is positioned, creating a sense of imbalance and suspense that elevates the visual interest of the device greatly!
The Stylophone is a tiny, pocketable electronic synth you can play anywhere you go.
A cross section of wood taken from an ash tree, the Barky’s base has wooden age-lines that match perfectly with the shape and nature of vinyl, creating something that looks absolutely surreal as you begin to notice the biomimicry of sorts.
Designed to look like ornaments, rather than those Bluetooth headsets you see businesspeople and security details wearing.
The Pal retains the boxy aesthetic of the Traditional Cassette Player while allowing for a more up-to-date listening experience. Contained in the sections where the batteries would usually be housed is a set of Bluetooth headphones.
In a world where we’ve got in-ear, on-ear, and around-ear style headphones, the DP-2 breaks the mold as it holds onto the earlobe in its signature fashion by twisting open and closed.
Stepping away from the usual plastic and metal construction, the Maverick smart speaker uses cutom-knit fabrics, distressed leather, and genuine wood too, to give you a speaker that conforms yet doesn’t.
Titled the SoundCube, Eric Guack’s concept headphones for Lenovo literally come with a hexagonal design. Yes, the cups are hexagons too!
Designed to rest against a wall, this turntable comes with a mesh door that holds the vinyl in place, and the needle is built right into the door itself.
Rather than fitting snugly into the user’s ears, they instead comfortably fit around the outside.
The LG G7 ThinQ phone boasts of an unusual feature. Resonance speakers. The phone doesn’t come with speakers of its own, but rather, IS the speaker. It vibrates to the audio you play on it, and if you’re holding the phone, you hear the music almost running through your body.
Its modular construction makes it possible to quickly switch between over-ear headphones, stereo desktop speakers and mono portable speakers in seconds.
Don’t forget to check out YD’s top EDC designs from 2018.
Don’t forget to check out YD’s top car designs from 2018.
Don’t forget to check out YD’s top architecture designs from 2018.