"One of the challenges of designing headphones is that you get to affect people’s personality with your designs because they’re placed so close to the face." - Jakob Wagner

IN THE DETAILS

The Leather on BeoPlay H6

One of the challenges of designing headphones is that you get to affect people’s personality with your designs because they’re placed so close to the face.

 
 

Jakob Wagner, an experienced Danish industrial designer, was tasked with designing the BeoPlay H6 headphones – and already from an early stage he was aware that he had to be both gentle and pragmatic in his design process and choice of materials.

A pair of headphones is used so much these days – and taken literally everywhere that they have to be both presentable and durable. Presentable because they’re on your head or around your neck at all times – and durable because they get the tear and wear of everyday use.

The choice of leather for BeoPlay H6 reflects that use case scenario:

Leather is comfortable enough to wear all day long, it looks pretty darn good, it’s durable and it ages with beauty. That’s four ticks on the checklist!

The solid cowhide leather on the headphones comes from New Zealand where the cows roam in controlled pastures. Only the highest quality hides are selected. Each leather product is completely natural and the leather is dyed with a tanning process that provides colors in rich and warm tones.

The leather is then extensively tested – and boy does it get a rough treatment!

At first the leather is exposed to sunlight in a solar simulator to see if and how it responds in terms of its colour. After that it’s treated to a diverse range of skin lotions, sun screens and perfumes. And then – hold on to your hats – we’ve got bottled sweat ( don’t ask us where it’s from!! ) and that is applied in a heavy dosage to check what it does to the leather.

We’ve gotta make sure they’re up to the task, right?! And don’t worry – we’ve stored the bottled sweat far away from all the headphones going out to the stores!

One thing is dead certain though: We’ve seen how the leather responded to the beating we gave it – and it looked mighty fine.

 
“Like a pair of glasses or a piece of jewellery a set of headphones can define a person’s look and shape what they communicate to the world”
— Jakob Wagner
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