yx2 speaker

a directional speaker for apartment dwellers

The Product

YX2 is a speaker that responds to the reality of communal living for many young people, by allowing private listening without sacrificing social interaction and communal space.

Roles

Research
Strategy
Prototyping

Team

Cheryl Chan
Hana Mareck
Jeff Baldwin
Chris Elawa

Audience

The Apartment Dwelling Roomate

This project was a fun experimental foray into the world of product design, culminating with a high-fidelity working prototype. When given the apartment dwelling roommate as an audience, we investigated their behaviours, needs and living situations. Themes of communal living, respect and flexibility presented themselves in our research.

Through exploration of different methods of sound focusing, we learned that by reflecting the sound off a concave surface, the direction of sound became more focused. This discovery informed our initial form explorations.

Form

The Speaker

We arrive at a form that combines three simple shapes—two rectangles and a circle—that balance each other compositionally from multiple angles. The larger rectangular box houses the amplifier and the controls for power and volume. The smaller rectangular box houses the sound source, and attaches magnetically to the edge of the dish.

The speaker component embedded in the magnetic speaker arm

Thus, the sound source does not face towards the user; rather, it faces away from the user, towards the circular component, the dish. The concave surface of the dish reflects focused sound back towards the user. As a result, the sound is louder in the narrow aim of the dish but significantly quieter to the side and behind. This allows for the user to listen to music openly, without disrupting their roommates.

Private vs Public

Flexibility and modularity being major guiding principles, the magnetic, modular assembly allows the user to replace the sound-directing dish with a flat plate that spreads sound around the room. This transition could be made in the scenario that multiple users want to listen socially.

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