Most chimes, at least the non-electronic ones, are designed to hang down in order to be swept even by the gentlest breeze. That is true even for door chimes, which sometimes result in less-than-pleasing appearances and sounds. The dangling parts sometimes look awkward or get in the way of the door frame, while the parts that make it sound often hit the door and produce a different acoustic quality from the chimes themselves. On their own, they seem like small nitpicks, but they quickly become death by a thousand paper cuts in our minds after seeing and hearing this day after day. This Japanese-inspired door chime, in contrast, takes a different approach to both its style and its sound in order to create a subtle yet memorable experience that is pleasing not just to the senses but also to the mind.
Designer: Mikiya Kobayashi for Timbre
Our minds can be complex and mysterious, paying attention to things in the background that we don’t consciously mind. It’s a necessary capability for survival, but it can also have some unfortunate and unforeseen consequences. We can become numb to the clutter on our desks, for example, making us forget about the important sticky notes we have left lying around. It can also make us associate negative emotions with door chimes that don’t look or sound right, making us unconsciously irritated whenever someone opens the door.
Bo, a word that means “live” or “reside” in Danish, is a door chime that delivers a completely different experience from that, not just by the way it sounds but also by the way it looks. At first glance, the small metal bars seem to float in front of your door rather than hang from it, thanks to the small minimalist base that gets out of the way, visually and practically. There are no strings that get tangled up and no chime that looks out of place. The strong neodymium magnet in the base also makes it easy to mount the chime on any ferrous metal surface, whether it’s the door itself or some plate on the door.
Despite that solid-looking arrangement, the chime’s bars swing easily and freely when the door moves or with a breeze. The bars hit themselves and only themselves, creating a crystalline sound that is pure, clear, and unadulterated by the door’s material. Since these four rods are equally tuned, there is no note that will sound out of place. The result is a pleasant auditory experience that is peaceful and almost mesmerizing. It’s almost reminiscent of those tiny bells that mark the start of a period of meditation and reflection, making you stop and pause to breathe and live in the present.
Door chimes are designed to inform you whenever the door opens, but they don’t have to be a jarring or even uncomfortable experience to be effective. This gentle chime creates a more pleasant experience not only with the way it sounds but also with the way it looks. It might even make you look forward to family and friends coming over just to hear that sound, and it’s definitely a sound you’ll want to hear as you step out into the world to start your work day.