Context and Objectives• KEF Brand Decoding• Design Situation and Brief• Task Analysis• Initial Specification• Audio Product Decoding• Define Target Market• LINKS FX
KEF Brand Decoding The KEF logo is simplistic with a shiny and bevelled effect. The slightly bevelled effect represents KEF speakers in their organic designs. The slogan “Innovators in Sound” describes KEF’s designing and technologies, all of KEF’s speakers are very unique in design and also from a technological point of view. The slogan shows the company direction and their ethic. However the logo is more square than all of its products, showing they are fitting both sides of designing. KEF’s organic design leads to speakers that are curved and seem to flow naturally, almost like something we would expect to see out in nature. The organic design does not stop at the flowing designs, some of the materials that they use are also organic giving a natural effect. Mahogany is used as a housing for many of its speakers and this says something about KEF, not only are they “Innovators” but they also use high quality expensive materials in their Materials such as Mahogany, Steel and Plastic are used in the products. housings for KEF speakers. The use of the materials can give a certain effect or change a customers view on the product. Mahogany is used to give a natural effect where possibly the design of the speaker does not flow naturally as much as others. Steel and Plastic are used to give a high gloss effect and compliment an already organic and naturally flowing design.
KEF Brand Decoding The function of KEF speakers is to provide high quality music. KEF is a top of the range music company that is innovative in design and in new technologies KEF speakers have very high to allow them to meet the prices but also provide very high needs of all consumers. quality. The high price means that KEF speakers will not be available to every target market. The target market for KEF products is upper class people between 25 and 50. £14,000 £150 £90,000KEF has a vast selection of products ranging from floor standingspeakers to motorised ceiling speakers. The large selection ofproducts, series and designs allows KEF products to fit in with anyenvironment.
The reference series is world famous and has set the bench mark for high end audio loudspeakers and is legendary for its clarity and precision.Crossover optimises driver KEF’s cabinets are precisionintegration and response engineered and are a work ofaccuracy. This ensures a art themselves, the volume ofnaturalness in the music each unit meets the exactwithout any electromagnetic parameters of its drive unitsinterference from circuit so that they get rid of anyboards because the boards unwanted vibrationsare separate. KEF has a world renowned reputation for producing high end speakers with excellent precision and clarity. KEF’s innovative design have allowed it to lead the market with its organic designs and new technologies that allow it to stand out from the rest.
KEF were the first company to use computers in loudspeaker testing and design which lead to them producing the best quality sound sooner than everyone else. This gave them technological supremacy. KEF were able to match pairs of speakers to within half a decibel for near perfect stereo reproduction. KEF were the first to develop acoustic compliance enhancement technology and are also able to produce speakers less than an inch and a half thick.KEF was also the first to release a motorised ceiling KEF’s signature technology, thespeaker and acoustic compliance enhancement Uni-Q point source driver arraytechnology. KEF’s motorised ceiling speaker is uses NASA developed magnetscontrolled via a infra red remote control so that which are ten times morethe speaker can be at the optimum angle, an powerful than conventionalalternative is to have the speaker flush against the materials. This allowed KEF toceiling like a traditional ceiling speaker. engineer a tweeter small enough to mount at the acoustic centre of the bass unit voice coil so they could act as one. KEF’s wireless sound systems constantly adjust their frequency to make sure that there is no interference with the quality of the wireless sound and signal. KEF’s low profile driver was Other wireless sound systems have developed to meet the needs interference from other typical of LED and OLED displays, household appliances such as wireless reducing the depth from routers, mobile phones and 70mm to smaller than 30mm. microwaves. This is why KEF’s wireless KEF has developed these ultra system is innovative. thin drivers without compromising on sound quality and performance.
BRIEF AND SITUATIONDesign BriefMy design brief is to design and build a speaker for KEF. The speaker will need to fit with the aesthetics and functions of other KEF products and have to fit with their designs.KEF is an award winning company that builds high end speakers with all the best materials and components so in my design and build I will have to keep this in mind. Thedesigning process of my speaker will involve doing lots of research into KEF and analysing all possible aspects of their speakers. The research that I conduct will go muchdeeper than what is just on the KEF website because I will need to understand exactly how a speaker works and why certain parts of construction require so much attentionto detail. I will looking into specific materials that are used in speakers and analyse which ones are best and why. Aesthetics are always important in designing but they areparticularly important when designing for KEF because they follow a unique organic design path and I will need to make my speaker fit perfectly with this. Therefore thisproject requires top quality designing and construction. KEF’s slogan is ‘Innovators in sound’ which is key in understand how KEF designs their speakers, they do not followother trends or styles they are unique and their speakers stand out from the rest.Design SituationThere are some issues that I will tackle in my design and try to improve on these aspects above what KEF have already done. KEF speakers are not very versatile and are verylarge, I want to make a speaker that can be moved fairly easily but I don’t want to move away from KEF’s high end speaker designs of being large. KEF speakers also onlyreally have one function which is to play music, KEF focuses more on producing the best quality sound above providing extra functions for the user. I want to try and get highquality sound as well as providing an extra function for the user such as an iPod dock.
Task AnalysisAesthetics Number of Speakers SafetyShapes 1 MaterialsColours 2 WiringMaterials 3 ShapesSize 4+ EdgesOrganicGeometric Types of Speaker EnvironmentModern Hi-fi Speakers Home Doing the Task Analysis has made me think aboutTraditional Home Theatre Speakers Work Place all the possible aspects that could be used in a Outdoor Speakers Shops speaker design. It has provided me with the baseFunction Wall Mounted Speakers Outdoors of what I will need to start planning my designPlay Music Ceiling Speakers Music Concerts and manufacture.Compatibility Headphones Cars Comparing it to the KEF Brand Decoding, I amDocking Station Floor Standing able to see and recognise which aspects areRadio Bookshelf Pricing commonly used in high end speakers andHeadphone Sockets Satellite £0 - £1,000 therefore work well.Remote Controlled Centre Channel £1,001 - £10,000 I will also be able to compare it to my Audio Surround/Dipole £10,001 + Product Decoding to see what other companiesManufacture Subwoofer use in their speakers and the variations of theseMass Production Sound Bar Power Sources aspects in relation to price and reputation.Batch Production Motorised MainsOne off Production Commercial BatteryHand Built Wireless SolarMachine BuiltJoining Technologies Future Trends Uni-Q StylesMaterial Low Profile Driver New technologiesWood ACEMetal Wireless SizePlastic SST Small Selecta-Mount MediumLife Span Bass Extender Large0 – 10 years Single Apparent Source10 years + User Interactions
Initial Specifications Here I am going to be analysing KEF and considering things that they commonly use and things that are key to designing for KEF. This is going to allow me to see what I need to do in my designing and things that are key such as materials, functions and aesthetics. I will be using ACCESS FM to break down key aspects of design and construction. CustomerAestheticsFollowing KEF’s previous designs which all follow an organic design path with KEF’s main customers and upper class individuals and business’ in the musicflowing shapes and natural looking materials, I will design a speaker that fits with industry looking for a quality speaker. Speakers are designed to meet specificthis. The speaker will be large with no sharp edges or points and feature curves needs for certain purposes so their truly is a KEF speaker for everyone. I am goingthroughout its design. to design and build a speaker that could be used for an individual instead of a larger market of business’ in the music industry.CostThe cost of the product depends on the range that the speaker is entered into and Environmentthe materials and technology used in it. KEF’s high quality innovations andtechnologies increase price rapidly along with their high quality and expensive KEF speakers are commonly in household, business or studio environments.materials. However KEF’s smaller ‘Bookshelf’ speakers and the smaller speakers in Because KEF builds speakers to suit all of these environments there is a lot oftheir expensive ranges are lower priced to meet needs and suit an entire market. I room to change and tweak designs and still fit in with KEF although I am designingwill try and follow them in using high quality materials and components to ensure a speaker mainly for use in a home environment.my speaker truly fits with KEF.
Initial Specifications Here I am going to be analysing KEF and considering things that they commonly use and things that are key to designing for KEF. This is going to allow me to see what I need to do in my designing and things that are key such as materials, functions and aesthetics. I will be using ACCESS FM to break down key aspects of design and construction.Safety FunctionSafety will play a part in design but shouldn’t be a major issue because using the KEF speakers previously have not served any other functions than to play music.organic designs their will be no sharp edges or corners. The product will be used With the expanding market of speakers featuring iPod and iPhone docks I amin a home environment where there may be children so it must be stable and going to incorporate this into my design to bring KEF into the market so that theywiring should not come lose. All of the components should also be securely joined can get a larger customer base.together so that they do not come lose over time.Size MaterialsHigh end KEF speakers are very large and this allows then to create better sound All of the speakers produced by KEF feature the highest quality materials. KEFquality and also stand out in their environment. Commonly their speakers get does not have a large range of different materials used to construct its speakers,smaller depending on series, application and lower price ranges. I am going to be the main materials used are stainless steel, plastic and wood. The cabinet insidedesigning a floor standing or bookshelf speaker that should fit into the middle KEF speakers is plastic, this allows easy construction and tight fits so there will beprice range of KEF speakers, this means that the speaker will need to be fairly no vibration. I am going to focus on using these materials and use plastic as thelarge but not too big that it cant fit comfortably onto a desk or shelf. inside cabinet for the speaker.
Audio Product DecodingIn this section I will be naming the components inside of many types of speakers and alsoexplaining what they in do in getting the product to function. I will be looking into how differentsounds are produced and how the drivers inside of speakers vary to produce the differentfrequencies and different sounds. When the electrical current flowing through the voice coil changes direction, the coils polar orientation reverses. The voice coil is a basic electromagnet, an electromagnet is a coil of wire, usually wrapped around a piece of magnetic metal often iron. Running electrical current through the wire creates a magnetic field around the coil, making the metal it is wrapped around magnetic. The field has polar orientation and has a ‘North’ and a ‘South’ end. But unlike a permanent magnet, in an electromagnet you can alter the orientation of the poles. If you reverse the flow of the current, the north and south ends of the electromagnet switch. This is exactly what a stereo signal does, it constantly changes the direction of the flow of electricity. The amplifier is constantly switching the electrical signal and therefore changing the north and south poles. The alternation in the current causes the flow of current to change direction many times in a second. When the electrical current changes direction it causes the coil magnet to move up and down with the change in magnet fields, the coil moves over the permanent magnet with the repulsion or attraction and causes the diaphragm to vibrate and cause sound waves. Different driver sizes are used in different sized speakers and frequency. Headphones and earphones typically work in the same way as loudspeakers but on a much smaller scale.
Audio Product Decoding Driver Types A stereo speaker has both a woofer or a midrange and tweeters. This enables the one speaker to have the same quality music as larger speakers in the size of only one woofer. There Midrange drivers are used to are two tweeters placed over the create a range of frequencies in woofer, there are two tweeters the middle of the sound because this helps to create spectrum. stereophonic sound. Stereophonic sound is more like natural sound and comes from two or more audio channels, this is the opposite to monophonic sound which is sound from only one audio channel and is not likeWoofer’s are the largest drivers used natural sound.to create the lowest frequency Tweeter’s are much smaller andsounds. used to create high frequency sounds.
CUSTOMERKEF has a large customer base, however they are in a competitivemarket amongst other high end speaker companies suck and Bowersand Wilkins. KEF produces a large variety of ranges of speakers thatvary both in price and size, however quality barely changes withintheir speakers. The large variety of applications, price ranges andenvironments for their speakers means that they can attract a verylarge market stretching through not only the professional market butalso the commercial market. Speakers such as the Muon aredeveloped for the top quality sound and aesthetics, priced at nearly£100,000 they are aimed mainly at the professional market, thisbeing studios and music producers. Speakers such as the Referenceseries are produced to attract both professional music producers andalso individuals for a passion for music. Prices in this series rangefrom £14,000 to £4,000, showing that this range alone is aimed atprofessionals and individuals with a large market.KEF not only attracts its markets with pricing but also because theyoffer such a large variety of applications ranging from Home theatresystems to in wall speakers and outdoor speakers. Again this isbuilding on KEF’s customer base and increasing the size of theirmarket and enabling them to compete effectively with other largebrands.
LINKS FX In this section I will be looking at certain factors in the process of designing and analysing what I will be doing. I will be using LINKS FX which will help me to analyse what I should keep and scrap and also what the uses are for a speaker. Analysing these factors is going to bring me closer towards generating ideas that are logical and useful for the customer.Logical NeedThe speaker must designed with the needs of the consumer in mind, designing for The speakers are going to need either stereo speakers or a separate amplifier,KEF makes this easier to do because of their wide customer base gives more room tweeter and a bass driver. The speaker will need to have a case and frame that isfor different ideas and applications. The most logical use for a speaker is to be securely built to have as little vibration as possible, creating the best possibleable to stand alone and play music. Vibrations in the speaker must be minimal to sound. The speakers will need a power source that can power the speakersgive the highest quality sound. effectively. The case of the speakers must be stable so that it can stand on a shelf or desk without falling over.Illogical KeepIllogical uses for speakers depend highly upon the application and function of thespeaker. I am planning on designing a bookshelf speaker that will be fairly large so I am going to keep the plastic frame inside of my casing to house the speakers andan illogical use for this will be to pick it up and carry it around. However an also help minimise vibration. I am also going to keep using the materials that KEFillogical use for a pair of headphones is to leave them on a surface and play the almost always uses in its speaker casings, wood, metal or plastic. I am going tomusic out loud. Another illogical use for the speaker I will be designing is to put it create passive speakers which fits with most other speakers on the market and Ioutside. Illogical uses for a speaker are things that people might do with the am also going to keep the design of keeping the drivers and tweeters separatespeaker that it is not designed to do. and not using a stereo speaker.
LINKS FX In this section I will be looking at certain factors in the process of designing and analysing what I will be doing. I will be using LINKS FX which will help me to analyse what I should keep and scrap and also what the uses are for a speaker. Analysing these factors is going to bring me closer towards generating ideas that are logical and useful for the customer.Scrap X - FactorI am going to scrap the traditional ‘Block’ speaker design and follow a natural The X-Factor is the aspect of the speaker that makes it different and stand outorganic design path, taking inspiration from previous KEF speakers such as the from all the other speakers on the market. Because of KEF’s organic designs itBlade or the Reference series model 207/2. designs are more aesthetically means that every speaker they design and produce is unique so producing anpleasing when they make the customer think of natural materials and shapes. aesthetically unique speaker will be fairly easy. However creating a speaker with an X-Factor in terms of its functions will be difficult because most modern speakers have an iPod dock, due to this its not the actual function that is going to be unique it’s the way in which the function is set into the speaker and used byForm VS Function the customer.KEF is a company not to compromise on either its form or function, to upholdtheir quality standard and continue being ‘Innovators in sound’ they mustproduce both excellent design and excellent function. Trying to carry on the KEFstandard will require lots of designs and use of ACCESS FM to analyse separatedesigns to consider all aspects and what will work best together. I am going toconsider adding extra functions than previous KEF designs such as an iPod dock,however I must incorporate it into my design in a way that doesn’t compromiseon aesthetics or the organic design.
Plan of Action and Clarification of Problems Section 1 • Gantt Chart • Research Plan Primary Research • Questionnaire • Person and Product Interaction • Environmental Snapshot • First Hand Existing Design Analysis • Product Disassembled Secondary Research • Access FM of Secondary Products • Brand Profiling • Product Profiling • Customer Profiling • Mood Board
Gantt Chart Section Number of Weeks Here I have created a table that shows the different sections ofContext and Objectives the project and how long I will be spending on each section. This is going to help me with my timePlan of Action and Clarification of Problems keeping so that I have enough time to complete each part. I have also created a list of theDevelopment of Design Proposal different sections and what each section consists of. This is also going to help me with my timeManufacture/ Modelling keeping by making sure that I complete a certain number of parts a week to complete aConclusion, Evaluation and section on time.Recommendations Context and KEF Brand Situation and Initial Audio Product Define Target Objectives Task Analysis LINKS FX Decoding Brief Specifications Decoding Market Plan of Action and Person and First Hand KEF and Access FM of Environmental Product Product Customer Clarification of Research Plan Gantt Chart Product Existing Design Competitive Secondary Brand Profiling Mood Board Problems Snapshot Disassembled Profiling Profiling Interaction Analysis Companies Products Development of Material Component Final Design Working Design Proposal Sketching 3D Rendering Sketch Models Cutting List Flow Chart Swatches Fitting and Decisions Drawing Manufacture/ Design Around Modelling Models Building Specification Conclusions, Assess Evaluate Industrial Experiences Test Against Environmental Evaluations and View Point Strengths and Against User Opinions Alterations Commercial Test or Try Recommendations Gained Specifications Considerations Weaknesses Market Production
Research PlanEnvironmental Snapshot Access FM of secondary productsI am going to take photographs of Using ACCESS FM I will look at other speakers from throughout the market. This can be used to aid me in doing my competitivespeakers in their usual locations that KEF’s companies research, however I will not only be analysing competitive speakers to KEF in this section I will be looking at speakerstarget customer would most likely have the that range in design, quality and applications to get a wider knowledge of how speakers are built and designed to attract a certainspeaker placed. I can then use these audience. Ranging the speakers that I look at will let me see the best way to overcome any possible problems that may arise andphotos to help me design a speaker that is also let me see what works best in every aspect of design and construction. The advantages of doing this are that I will gain agoing to fit nicely into the location and greater understanding of speakers throughout the market and this will enable me to design my speaker to be the best it possiblyprovide possible functions that may be can. The disadvantage of doing this is that some of the speakers that I look at will not be the same as what I am looking to designuseful here. It will also help me see what so the information will not help me that much.other products are next to or surroundingthe speaker and give me a greaterunderstanding of certain materials that may First Hand Existing Design Analysisappeal to the customer or help the speaker Questionnaire First hand existing design analysis involves going out to shops andto fit the location. My questionnaire is a set of eight questions that I will looking at other speakers from KEF and competing brands. I will be ask to a variety of people, this is going to help me gain taking pictures of existing speakers and then analysing them using a first hand view of my target market. The questions are ACCESS FM, I will then be able to compare the speakers to each otherPerson and Product Interaction multiple choice so that it will be easier to segment the and see what aspects from different speakers are good and which don’tI will analyse certain types of speaker to see how answers and understand the market better. I will ask work very well. The speakers that I look at will be mainly of the samepeople interact with them, I will then use the information each of my questions to 10 people and all of the people application, this being the one I am planning to design, this is going toI collect to see whether there is a relation between the will be different for each question. The advantage of help me in my designing to see how this speaker application is built anddesign and style of the speaker and the way people doing this is that I can get a better understanding first used. This is very similar to ACCESS FM of secondary products,interact with it. This is going to help me see how hand of the market and have the opportunity to discuss however in this section it involves going and seeing the speakers firstdifferent speaker applications or types are used and talk to the market. The disadvantage of doing this is hand. This allows me to make a clearer judgement of the speakers anddifferently by the customer and why, linking this with my that I am not choosing a specific group to question and allows me to analyse them in greater depth with more knowledge aboutenvironmental snapshot will help me to see where therefore some of the people that I ask questions to will each of them. Doing this first hand means that I can see the quality ofdifferent speaker types are used and what their normal not be in my target market and their answers will not be the speaker and also analyse the designs better than having to do itlocation is. This is going to help me in my designing so relevant to me. from a picture in my secondary research.that I have more design ideas that will all appeal tocustomers.
Research PlanProduct Disassembled Product ProfilingDoing product disassembly will show me all the different processes that can be used in building speakers and it will give me a better In my product profiling I am going to be profilingunderstanding of what different processes can produce. I am going to take apart different types of speaker to see how different assembly different speakers in terms of price and the amount ofand components are needed to produce different speaker applications, I will also be able to see the quality and effect of the quality in functions that they have. I will not only be limiting thisdifferent speakers sound. I am also going to see how speakers are secured into their housings to reduce vibrations and also the joining section of research to KEF speakers and will be lookingmethods and finishing methods that are commonly used. The benefits of doing this are that it shows me different ways in which materials at lots of speakers from the whole of the market. This iscan be formed and manipulated into shapes that you want and how to join them to other materials securely. I am going to look at the going to give me a greater understanding and allow mefinishing methods that are used on the speakers and why different methods are used to give different effects on different materials. to see whether there is a relationship between an increase in price and the amount of functions that aKEF and Competitive Companies Mood Board speaker has. The advantage of doing this is that I willThis section is where I am going to broaden my research from KEF The mood board is a selection of images that have inspired me in be able to see whether speakers competitive to thoseto the whole speaker market, however I will only be looking at 3 my designs, they all have some features that have influenced me. that KEF produce add any extra functions or focusother brands as well as KEF. The brands that I am going to be The images are of all different types of speakers from all different solely on unique designs and high quality sound. Thelooking at will be similar to KEF is some ways because they will all brands across the market, but they are all high end speakers so disadvantage of doing this is that I will not only bebe high end speaker companies, this is going to help me see the could be considered competitors to KEF. Most of the images that I looking at one certain speaker application anddifferences in designs and how they are used to attract a certain have chosen are from the brands that I am comparing KEF to in the therefore my results may not be useful in the design oftarget market. Not only will I be analysing the designs but I will also KEF and competitive companies. The advantage of doing this is that my speaker, however it will allow me to look at a largerbe looking at the functions, applications and speaker types to help I can visualise all of the images together and see more clearly how variety of speakers and broaden my knowledge.me decide which speaker is most suited to a certain audience, they could be used together in a design.analysing the functions is going to give me greater understanding Customer Profilingof what people want and are looking for when they are going to Brand Profiling The customer profiling is where I am profiling the target customerbuy a speaker. After looking into the target market of the different Brand profiling does not involve using ACCES FM to look for KEF speakers and my speaker. I am profiling them in allspeaker brands I will be able to see how different audiences like to at any other speakers, it just involves researching deeper aspects such as age, gender, income, disposable income andinteract with their speakers, I can then incorporate these into my into KEF. I will be looking at KEF’s awards and its ethics other belongings. This is going to help me in the design of mydesign. A speaker that is competitive to what my speaker will be and its attitude to designs and construction. I will be speaker because I will be able to see al l the information aboutand KEF is another high end speaker with excellent sound quality. looking at components, materials and manufacturing my target customer that is relevant to my design. I will be able toI will use ACCESS FM to analyse some of the speakers and then processes that are used by KEF in its production see what materials they like, their age, gender and whether theythis will make it easier for me to compare different companies. The processes. I will be looking to see what different own lots of expensive items. All of these will help me decide ondisadvantage of doing this is that looking at speakers from other applications of speaker that KEF produces and how their the production of my speaker and what materials andcompanies may cause me to change my designs to suit them more processes change depending on these. I will be looking at components I will use. I will also be able to make sure that theythat KEF. the target market that KEF is trying to attract and how it like organic designs and try to make my speaker fit with things does this. they may already have.
Questionnaire Where would you place speakers in your house? Which of the following would you like the speakers to be?Where would you place speakers in your house? 0% 10% 10% 10% Wall Mounted• Living room 0% Living Room 10%• Bedroom Bookshelf• Kitchen Bedroom 30% Floor Standing• Dining room 60% Kitchen 30% 40% Ceiling• Other Dining Room WirelessWhich of the following would you like the speakers to be?• Wall mounted What material would you most like to Do you place your speakers as a• Bookshelf feature or try to hide them?• Floor standing see in a speaker?• Ceiling• Wireless 13% 0%• Other Wood 37% 30% FeatureWhat material would you most like to see in a speaker? Metal• Wood 70% Hide• Metal 50% Plastic• Plastic• Other OtherDo you place your speakers as a feature or try to hide them? How often do you listen to When purchasing a speaker what is• Feature more important, aesthetics or sound• Hide music? quality?What extra functions would you like to see in a speaker? 10% 0% Everyday• Radio 10% Aesthetics 10%• MP3 docking station Few times a• Portable 30% Sound Quality• Other week Once a week 30% 50% 60% Balance betweenWhen purchasing a speaker what is more important, aesthetics or sound quality?• Aesthetics Once every two both• Sound quality weeks• Balance between bothWhat type of job are you in? What extra functions would you• Management What type of job are you in? like to see in a speaker?• Office worker• Sales 10% Radio 10%• Trade Management 10%• Other MP3 Docking Office Worker 30% 30% StantionHow often do you listen to music? 30% Sales Portable• Every day 50%• Few times a week• Once a week 20% Trade Other• Once every two weeks Other• Every two weeks plus 10%
Person and Product InteractionFor part of my research I have looked at different ways that people interact and usespeakers. I have noticed that the functions of the speaker affect that way that a customeruses it, for example speakers that have an iPod dock need to be interacted with differentlyto those that do not. This section of my research has enabled me to understand how When the speaker incorporates an iPod or MP3 input, thecustomers will use my speaker, I have been able to understand how the functions of my user needs to interact with the speaker by plugging thespeaker mean that the usability needs to be considered more so that the user can access device into a port. Being a desk speaker I am going to placeand use the functions with ease. buttons or dials by the input so that the volume can be adjusted easily and quickly. The usability of my speaker is an essential part of the design, I need to ensure that the user can access and use all functions of the speaker easily. I have noticed that speakers that use a remote control are much easier to use than those that do not. This is especially the case when the speaker has functions such as MP3 inputs and capability. The remote control allows the user to switch between input modes easily and also adjust the volume without having to physically interact with the MP3 device. Remote controls are not generally used with speakers that do not have extra added functions, this is because there is usually a remote control for the device that the speaker is connected to. Because my speaker is an independent speaker that will be able to have an MP3 I have noticed that portable speakers are used more vigorously than any other type of input, I have considered using one. speaker. I am designing a bookshelf speaker and am going to design the speaker so that it is However, I have decided against it because larger than the average bookshelf speaker. This is because I want to cross the line between my speaker will be a desk sized speaker and ‘Portable’ and ‘Bookshelf’ by quite a way. This is because my speaker is not designed to cope therefore the user will be close to the with the stresses and strains of being treated in the way the portable speakers are. Portable speaker to control it. speakers are often thrown or dropped into bags or suitcases. From the people I have spoken to and observed I noticed that all of them treated larger speakers more carefully than smaller ones.
Environmental Snapshot These are different rooms that I am planning to design my speaker to fit into and compliment. All the rooms are similar in design and all feature mostly plain colours such as white and black but also have one or two colours that stand out from the environment. They feature materials such as wood and stainless steel, which are two of the materials I have considered amongst a range of others to use in my design. The speaker I am designing will have mostly plain looking colours, but not boring, because they will be made of high quality materials that will be finished to help the speaker compliment its surrounding furniture. I will have one or two areas on my speaker that will have a bright colour, this is going to follow the contemporary path and mean that the speaker can be used in any contemporary room as a feature as well as just a speaker. I am going to follow an organic design path of flowing shapes as well and a contemporary colour scheme. This is going to make my speaker appeal to a wider audience and suit a wider variety of environments.
First Hand Existing Design Analysis These are pictures that I have taken of speakers from KEF and their competitive companies. By being able to view the speakers first hand it has enabled me to see the quality of the speakers both in materials and in sound quality. I had the opportunity to listen to some of the speakers which helped me to realise the extent to which KEF go to, to make their speakers the best they possibly can. I had already noted the main materials that KEF uses in its speakers and was planning to use these in my design, and this has been backed up by seeing the materials in use first hand, it has enabled me see how each material works well and what materials I should research into in more depth for my speaker. KEF had small displays to show off their materials in greater depth and why their materials are of such high quality. I had managed to see other braded speakers such as B&W and Meridian. I have been able to compare different speakers and be able to see why they are priced differently. It has also enabled me to see how different design styles are used and how different materials are used to compliment these styles. I have also been able to see different applications of speakers and how these are designed differently and the functions that they include.
Product Disassembly The inside of the speaker uses a circuit I have taken apart the speaker to the left to board because of all of the components understand the wiring inside of speakers. Although used in the speaker. The speaker has all this is a small speaker, the wiring will be similar to types of input from an SD card reader to other speakers and the speaker I will be building. an iPod dock. The circuit board helps to This is going to enable me to see the sort of wiring hold all of the components together the I will need to do within my speaker and how all neatly without the need for lots of wires. of the components go together. Because I am not using all of the inputs in my speaker I will not be using a circuit board. The wiring from the circuit board to the speakers is very simple. Two wires go to each speaker, this shows me that without the circuit board and all of the input methods the wiring will be simple to do. From research I have done online I have seen that in many cases an input source is connected to one speaker and then that speaker is connected to the other. I will research further into understanding which method will be best for me.This speaker is powered by a small lithiumbattery that is similar to one used in a mobilephone. I will not be using a battery to powermy speaker because it will not provideenough power to my speakers. Smaller The DC in port that I will be using will use a 3 pin mains plug.speakers require less power and my speakers It will also have a converter box that will restrict that amountrequire around 20 volts of power. I will be of volts that can enter the speakers. The DC in port of thisusing a DC in port similar to the one used to speaker is small and so will only fit a cable that restrictscharge the battery for this speaker. power to a lower level. The cable that came with the speaker us a USB cable to charge the battery. This shows the small amount of power that the battery needs to charge these speakers.
Access FM of Secondary Products Aesthetics – This speaker is aesthetically pleasing with its modern design. The materials that are used in the design of the speaker work Aesthetics – The aesthetics of these headphones is well together and make it seem expensive and excellent and make them seem expensive. The enclosure well designed and put together. The polished of the speaker is real leather and shiny metal which metal ring around the speaker makes the together create a modern looking design and an speaker look expensive along with the expensive looking pair of headphones. the polished metal exposed metal end. The difference in colour on the speakers draws attention to the headphones. The between the black and silver makes the exposed wiring and single metal stem for speaker speaker stand out and look modern. movement adds a nice effect to the speaker and makes it seem very modern.Cost – This speaker looks fairly expensive and is at £399 with its modern designs and shinymetal. The production of the speakers casing wouldn’t have been that expensive because there Cost – The headphones look very expensive mainly due to the materials that are used to makewill not be any complicated forming or joining processes, however the way in which the materials them. The polished metal adds the most expensive look because it attracts the attention ofare used together make the speaker seem expensive. The components within the speaker would people and we associate shiny metals with expense and money. The real leather adds a subtlehave been expensive and very high quality because they are made by Bowers and Wilkins. expensive look, it will not draw attention from people but the feel of it and the look of it looks aCustomer – Due to the fairly high price for this speaker the customer base will be lot nicer than the traditional plastic headband. The headphones are priced at £249 and thislimited, however the reputation of the brand, more people will be willing to pay the higher price because of the construction and high quality feel of the leather and metal.because they know they are paying for high quality. The speakers will be aimed at middle to Customer – The high price of the headphones limits the customer base however the price isupper class individuals or families and also at novice music producers or video editors. The lower than some of the competitors in the market. The brands reputation for outstanding buildspeaker will also be aimed at people with a passion for music or people who travel a lot and want and sound quality means that people that are not in Bowers and Wilkins general customer basea fairly small but high quality speaker to take with them. will buy these headphones as a luxury item. The headphones are aimed at middle to upperEnvironment – The speaker is designed to be used with a laptop or desktop computer, therefore class individuals who have a passion for music. The headphones are not designed for studiothe environment that this speaker is designed for will be on a desk with open space. The size of use so the sole market for these headphones is an individual person who enjoys music.the speakers however allows it to be placed almost anywhere such as a bookshelf or on a bed Environment – The environment for headphones varies greatly, they can be used anywhereside cabinet. from at home in a quiet controlled environment to on the train going to work. The headphonesSafety – The speaker has no major safety flaws or none that could be easily solved without build quality allows them to be used in environments where they may get bumped and knockedcompromising on the speakers design or uses. The speaker has no sharp edges or exposed without breaking. The headphones are deigned to be small enough and fold flat so that theywiring that could potentially hard the user. The speaker however is quite heavy and if it were to can be taken anywhere with the user in their bag.fall from a desk or shelf and hit someone then they would sustain minor injuries. If a wire were to Safety – The headphones have no sharp edges and all materials that are used cannot causebreak inside of the speaker and touch the metal ends then these could conduct the electricity injury to the user. The leather is a soft material which wont cause injury to the head. Theand cause a safety hazard to the user. The plastic bottom of the speakers adds extra grip over it exposed wire however could potentially be pulled and come lose exposing a wire that couldbeing a metal end so it is less likely to slip or fall. The black cloth grills could split and expose cause an injury. The ear pads are very well padded to give greatest comfort and not presscomponents underneath which could be a potential safety hazard. against the head too hard.Size – The size of the speaker allows it to easily serve its function of being a computer speaker Size – Size is an important aspect in all speaker design but particularly in headphones, theyand it also allows it to do much more. Its size allows it to be placed almost anywhere at a home must be able to be portable yet not so small they can break easily but not too heavy. Theseor office and it could even be taken on holiday or in a bag while someone is travelling. The headphones are a great mixture of all of these. They are the perfect size to fit onto your headspeaker is 17cm tall and 10cm wide, this size is perfect to be placed almost anywhere. comfortably for hours on end and they have been designed to fold flat into a case so that theyFunction – The speaker is primarily designed to be a computer speaker and serves no other are portable. The headband is only thin on these headphones but this is fine because they aremajor functions than playing excellent quality music as well as being small enough to put not that heavy so don’t need much support.anywhere. The speaker has a 2 small buttons that are placed along on of the sides of the metal Function – Headphones tend to need more functions to suit their application more than a largerring on the centre, the buttons change the volume up or down as indicated by the + and – signs. set of speakers. Headphones need to be portable and play music, both of which is achieved byThe buttons are very discreet and do not protrude from the ring at all, this keeps the aesthetics these headphones. They can fold flat which gives them a stronger structure when placed in alooking sleek. bag and also allows them to be more portable which is a key function for headphones. TheMaterials – Only three materials are visible on the outside of the speaker and these are headphones also lay music using the traditional 3mm headphone jack which is on most MP3metal, plastic and black cloth. The speaker is constructed of ABS with a spun aluminium top devices. This allows the headphones to be used with most music players.plate and aluminium ring on the centre. The shiny aluminium makes the speaker look expensive Materials – The materials used in these headphones provide not only great aesthetics but alsoand along side the black cloth creates a speaker that has excellent aesthetic appeals. The black a strong structure. The real leather headband and polished aluminium adds a sleek look to theABS base blends in with the black cloth so is not a feature it is used purely for grip and also to headphones and makes them look expensive and great value for money. The metal swivel andwithstand heavy banging onto a desk or falling. ABS is the best material to use for the base inner of the headband makes the headphones very strong and resistant to knocks and bumps.because it is very strong and can withstand high impact forces without breaking. The black plastic used on the ear cups and padding blends in with the leather adding yet more value to the headphones.
Access FM of Secondary Products Aesthetics – The aesthetics of this speaker is very Aesthetics – This speaker uses a mixture of organic pleasing, it uses materials that would be expected from a curves and straight lines in its design. The mixture of high end speaker but also uses unique design in using them these two design methods makes the speaker look together. The design of the speaker uses on organic shapes odd and in my opinion makes it not very aesthetically . Using this organic design means that the speaker is pleasing. The colours of the speaker are dull and don’t designed to blend into an environment as if it was work together as well as other competing natural, however the materials and colours are used to help loudspeakers on the market. The wooden sides are a make it stand out slightly. The speaker is designed to fit into dark brown and the main part of the cabinet is a black a modern house with other modern products, these are plastic, the mixture of brown and black don’t work assumed to be the same sort of colours and made from the together that well. The speaker is made by Kharma same materials as this speaker. and is its ‘Extreme high end audio product’, it is called the ‘Exquisite Grand’.Cost – This speaker looks expensive due to the materials used and the design style. Thespeaker costs around £10,000 for a pair and for this you would expect the best build Cost – The speaker costs around £140,000 for the pair, because it is the highest end of audioquality, best materials and most importantly the best sound. The speakers design makes it that Kharma and most other competitors produce. The speaker costs this amount due to itsseem expensive, especially the combination of black and silver, this is common in modern large size and unique design. The speaker is very plain so you are not paying for aesthetics.speakers and makes the speakers look like how much they cost. Customer – The speaker is designed both for professional use and home use, therefore itsCustomer – Again with this speaker the high price tag reduces the amount of customers market is in the larger end. The extremely high cost of the speaker limits its marketdramatically. The speaker is not designed for professional use in a studio but for home use by dramatically leaving only a small portion of the individual market and the professional market.people who’s passion is music. The speaker is aimed at upper class families or individuals who The individual market would be upper class individuals or people interested in starting aenjoy music. The age range for the customers would be from 20 to 45 because of its modern recording studio. The age range for individuals buying this speaker would be around 30 to 55design and materials. because of its more contemporary design.Environment – The speaker is not designed for professional use in a studio or work place but Environment – The large size of the speaker means that its mainly designed for a large studiofor home use. The speaker is designed to be placed in a living room where there is plenty of environment and this can also be seen from its design. The speaker is not the mostopen space for sound to travel and where families come together and people relax. Because of aesthetically pleasing because kharma focuses more on the quality of their sound rather thanits design, the speaker stands out slightly from its environment and is designed to be a feature the aesthetics of the speaker. For this reason the speaker is designed for a studio environmentrather than to be hidden. The speaker is not that large so can fit almost anywhere in a where the sound is more essential. The finishes available for this speaker are vast, rangingroom, therefore can be moved throughout the house. from real diamonds to high gloss wood finishes. Its main colour is a glossy black with stripesSafety – There are no major safety hazards with this speaker. There are no lose wires that can with two panels on each side where you can choose a custom finish. This enables the speakerbe pulled or broken and no sharp edges that could cut or hurt people. The pyramid shape of to fit into almost any environment.the speaker means that it gets lighter and lighter as it moves up meaning that it will be hard to Safety – There are few safety hazards with this speaker, because there are no exposed wirestip over because of the weight difference between the top and the bottom. If the speaker were or sharp edges. The speaker however could be tipped over fairly easily due to the large weightto be moved however and placed on someones foot or dropped on it then it could cause injury of the speaker and the fairly small base area which means that the weight of the speaker isntto the person. spread over a large area. The base of the speaker stands on four small legs attached to eachSize – The speaker is 97cm tall so is not as big as many of the other loudspeakers on the corner of the base, these are a potential hazard if they were to be put on someone’s foot ormarket. The smaller size of the loudspeaker allows it to fit into more locations throughout the even a wire that could possibly be cut by these.house. Larger loudspeakers are limited as to where they can be placed effectively but the Size – This speaker is very large being 2.21 metres tall and 0.55 metres wide. The large size ofsmaller size of this one means it is more versatile. The smaller size shows that the speaker is this speaker limits its usefulness to certain customers because it would be too large to have innot designed to stand out completely from its environment like its competitors, it is designed to a house and would take up too much room. The speaker is not versatile and moving it after itbe more discreet. had been placed in an area would also be fairly difficult due to its size. The speakers large sizeFunction – The speaker serves no additional or special functions that are not typical of all shows that it is meant to be a feature in its environment and to stand out from the thingsloudspeakers. It plays music, however the smaller size of this speaker makes it more around it.portable, not so that it can be moved out of the home but so that it can be moved into different Function – The functions of this speaker are few, other than playing music it has no extrarooms more easily. The speaker also has a remote control to make it easier to change volume functions or features. The speaker is not at all portable due to its large size and shows kharmasand other features of the speaker more easily. emphasis on sound quality first.Material – The cabinet for this speaker is made from a composite which is a mixture of two or Material - The main material for this speaker is a polymer which would probably be HIPSmore materials and the cover for the speaker is made of the traditional fabric. The composite because it can be coloured and shaped easily. The other materials that can be put on as thematerial used for the cover will be stronger than other materials that could have been used and custom finishes are vast, from glossy polymer finishes to gold strips with diamonds. Thealso more expensive. Because it is a mixture of two or more materials it has enhanced custom materials and high quality of the sound shows the extremely high prices of kharmaproperties over other materials such as metal or plastic so it is specially designed for its speakers.purpose. The fabric stops any dusk from getting onto the speaker cones and also adds to theorganic design by rounding the cabinet.
Access FM of Secondary Products Aesthetics – This speaker is a very modern and vibrant Aesthetics – This speaker has organic design throughout, with curves and bends. The speaker is available in two main design which features curves and circular shapes colours, white and black, these colours being completely opposite throughout. The colours of the speaker vary depending on and fairly plain means that the speaker would be able to suit almost the taste of the customer and also the environment in which any environment. They are also available in a variety of custom it will be placed. The colours are achieved due to the colours which mean the speaker is able to be customised. The materials that are used in its construction and these are speaker looks to me like the small sections within a leaf which polymers which can be coloured easily. The flat bottom of again shows that the design has been successful in making the the speaker enables the speaker to stand steadily without customer see it as organic. The base of the speaker is very small compromising on the other aesthetics of the speaker, this as not to draw attention away from the bulk of the speaker. The being its curves. The speaker is designed to stand out from aesthetics of the speaker mean that it will suit a modern naturalistic its environment, this is clear to see from its bright colour but environment. Cost – At £20,000 these speakers have a limited customer base, however they would appeal to can also be seen that the curved shapes are like nothing individuals and the professional market. The speakers were made by KEF for their 50 th else and it is deigned to stand out in this way as well. anniversary, therefore the price is to be expected. The reputation of KEF means that customersCost – The high cost of this speaker isn’t without reason. The quality of the components used are not shocked by the price because they know that they are getting excellent buildwithin the speaker and also the build quality and the material quality are all of the highest quality, sound quality and a completely original and unique design. The speakers are the secondstandards. The processes used to form the plastic and join all of the materials together would most expensive made by KEF, the first being the Muon.not have been cheap and this would be part of the reason for the higher costs. But it is mainly Customer – The aesthetics, Brand and quality of the speaker mean that it will appeal to a fairlydue to the brand name and the excellent sound quality that comes with it. Customers are open large audience, this being both in the professional market and the public market. The public sideto paying larger amounts of money for a brand that they know and can trust for providing the of the market wont be as large though due to the price, this will limit the speaker to upper classbest of everything. people who have a high disposable income. The cost of the speaker is high compared to someCustomer – The customer for this speaker would most likely be individuals who enjoy music or of its competitors and this may mean that some customers choose other brands, howeversee it as their passion. The speaker is not designed for use in a studio and therefore this leave professionals would buy this speaker because they know that they are getting what they pay for.the house environment or in an office. The high price of the speaker however does limit the Environment – Because the speaker would appeal to professionals and the public this meanscustomer slightly but the speaker does not cost as much as some of its competitors so would that its environment will vary. The speaker has been designed to be able to suit many differentbe an option for more people and therefore would have a larger market. The speakers environments. The speaker could be placed in a house, office or even a studio. These threeaesthetics would make it appeal more to a younger audience, this being people from 20 – 40. environments tend to require different styles of speaker and needs, but KEF have successfullyEnvironment – The speaker is designed to be placed in a house or office environment where it designed a speaker that suits all three. The speaker would need to be in a large room with lots ofcan add aesthetic appeal to the room and stand out and catch peoples eye. The speaker is space due to its large size.fairly small which means that its environment is versatile compared to other, larger speakers. Safety – The speaker has no major safety hazards because it has no lose wires that could beThe speaker can be moved around in a house and would suit almost any room which broadens tangled or tripped on and it has no sharp edges that a user could harm themselves on. The mainits environments. The speaker however is designed to be versatile and be able to sit in many weight of the speaker would be at the top of the ‘blade’ because this is where the speakers sit.different environments. This coupled with the fairly small base of the speaker means that the weight is not spread outSafety – This speaker has very few safety hazards. The curved shapes of the speaker mean over a large surface area and the speaker is top heavy, this means that the speaker could bethat it cannot cut or injure someone from these. There are no exposed wires that a user would pushed over fairly easily. KEF have managed to tackle the problem slightly by ensuring that thebe able to trip over or tangle. The base of the speaker is flat and provides stability, however if base is weighted to help hold the speaker down, but there is still a possibility that it could besmall children would be around this speaker then it could quite possibly be pushed over and fall knocked over. The small feet that are attached to the bottom of the speaker are also pointy, thisonto them or another object and cause damage to it. could mean that they damage wires or harm someone if it is placed on top of something bySize – The speakers are fairly small but they are too big to fit comfortably onto a desk or shelf. accident.The speakers are designed to be placed on a large surface that is elevated above the Size – Being 1.59 metres tall the speaker is on the larger size and would require a lot of space inground, such as a table in front of a television. The smallish size of the speakers means that the environment which it is placed. The size of the speaker is one of the factors that limits itsthey can be moved around the house are not that limited to where they can be placed customer base and its environment. The uses of a speaker this big are few, the main and onlythroughout the house. The size plays a key part in the environment of the speaker and these practical use is to play music and not be moved. The speaker would need to be placed and thenspeakers are designed so that they are small enough to be versatile yet large enough to be not to be moved because this would be difficult to do. The speaker is floor standing, we can tellprominent and stand out. this by its size because it would not be able to be used for any other purpose.Function – Speakers don’t tend to serve many other functions than playing music and this is an Function – Again this speaker is an example of where sound and quality is put ahead ofexample of another speaker where the sound and build quality is more important than the aesthetics. The only function the speaker serves is to play music, although it does have a varietyfunctions. The speakers only function is that it can play music, it can however be connected to of input ports which could mean it could be used with an MP3 device. The speaker is notan MP3 device which allows it be used with a wider variety of products. versatile either because it cannot be moved easily or its location changed quickly.Materials – The material used in this speaker is a polymer. This would have been used Materials – The cabinet of the KEF Blade speaker is made from GRP (glass reinforced plastic).because it is easy to mould into the complex shapes needed and can also be coloured to give This allows easy construction of curves and for details to be added. GRP gives a very strongthe desired effect. Additives can also be added to polymers which can give them enhanced casing that is able to eliminate any unwanted vibrations that could blur the sound.properties and make them more useful for a particular purpose.
BRAND PROFILINGHere I am profiling the KEF brand, I am showing a list of applications thatKEF produces to achieve its wide customer base. I am showing the This is one of KEF’s newestprogression of KEF’s speakers below from the 1960’s up to 2000. KEF has speakers, the ‘Blade’. Thisprogressed in all areas from aesthetics to technological advances. When KEF shows the clearwere founded in 1961 they were producing only simple speakers, both in advancements over timesound quality and aesthetics. KEF has grown to become a world renowned and also in the ten yearsspeaker company that has a very good reputation for producing high quality from 2000 up to 2012speakers. KEF’s advancements were fast and Raymond Cooke had decidedto use only the newest and high quality materials in the production of itsspeakers.