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I/O Sound campaign for modular hybrid headphones/speaker
The ability to customize your headphones seems to be the new trend in audio. Recently, both Aiaiai and Axel Audio announced that they will have modular headphones that allow the listener to choose which kind of listening experience they want. A new Kickstarter campaign by I/O Sound wants to take this concept a step further with their newest product, the modular hybrid headphone/speaker.
The headphones that I/O Sound has made come apart at every seam, allowing you to mix and match pretty much every part of the headphones from the type of driver used to the kind of ear cup that’s best suited for what you listen to. There are four choices for the kind of driver you may want. The first being the POP driver, which has a distinct V-shaped sound signature designed to bring out the best in pop music. It is a 40mm driver with a fairly standard frequency range of 20Hz -20 kHz. The second option is a 3-way driver which has an adjustable range that works with any genre for an overall solid listening experience. It has a 50mm driver and it’s frequency range is said to be “variable”.
Third is the reference driver meant for people looking to get an accurate/neutral/flat representation of the sound. Usually this means audio professionals who do some serious sound mixing every day. These 54mm drivers are said to have a range of 5Hz – 54 kHz, so even bats can appreciate the high level of accuracy. The last driver is the audiophile driver which provides the highest amount of detail for those who like to hear every single note played. These are rocking 56mm drivers and have a frequency range of 6Hz – 51kHz.
The fun doesn’t stop there as you also have three different ear cups to choose from: closed, open, and semi-open. Each ear cup has it’s fair share of pros and cons so you might want to take a look at the above picture to figure out which options are most important to you. Probably the most unique feature of the headphones is that you can take them apart and plug the driver into the speaker module and voila, you have a pair of speakers. The best of both worlds.
I/O Sound already has a ton of options available for you to choose from, but it’s just the beginning. For the ear cup and headband, there are nine different colors to choose from: black, white, gray, blue, green, brown, red, maroon, and dark blue. They also have an app in the works that allows you to build your headphones from scratch, choosing the colors you want as you go.
Being modular headphones, the price varies depending on how many pieces you want. The most expensive being the premium kit which costs $1,499 and contains every option available, allowing you to swap out drivers and ear cups however you see fit. On the other end of the spectrum, the most affordable configuration only costs $149. This gets you the POP driver with your choice of aluminum housing, ear cup, ear pad, and headband.
At the time of this post there are still 32 days left in the campaign so if you’re interested be sure to check out their Kickstarter. If you decide to pick one up for yourself, I/O Sound says that backers can expect to receive their modular headphones later this year in November.