Dezeen Magazine

Urbanears by Norra Norr

Stockholm designers Norra Norr have designed a collection of coloured headphones.

Called Urbanears, the range includes an in-ear headphone, a small over-ear headphone, and a medium-sized on-ear headphone.

The headphones are made of coloured steel with aluminium details, coated in rubber.

They feature textile headbands and cables and come in a range of fourteen colours.

"Our goal has been to create the industrial design equivalent of your favourite plain colored t-shirt," says Erik Petersén of Norra Norr.

Here's some more information from Norra Norr:


Norra Norr carves a niche within audio fashion wear with Urbanears

Norra Norr, a Stockholm-based industrial design consultancy, is the design and development team behind the much anticipated Scandinavian headphone brand Urbanears, which will hit stores around the world on December 1st.

Remaining faithful to their Scandinavian design heritage, Norra Norr has created a minimalistic unisex design in three models: Medis, Tanto and Plattan. Medis is an in-ear headphone, Tanto is a small over-ear headphone, and Plattan is a medium-sized on-ear headphone.

The Urbanears headphones are akin to the basic t-shirt, with a rich palette of colors and consistent shape. "By avoiding graphics and keeping the styling to a minimum, we feel we have made something quite timeless. With Urbanears, our goal has been to create the industrial design equivalent of your favourite plain colored t-shirt, generic but with a better tailoring than everything else out there," says Erik Petersén, designer and co-founder of Norra Norr.

With the goal of moving headphones away from electronics and into the fashion and lifestyle segment, Norra Norr has focused on function, quality, details and materials to create a cohesive family of products that appeal to a variety users.

The Urbanears headphones are made of colored steel with aluminium detailing and handmade drivers. They are treated with a rubber coating that gives the headphone a matte look and a smooth feel.

The headbands and cables are textile rather than plastic, making the products look and feel more like a garment and less like a mechanical product.

Design innovations include the Zound plug for Plattan, allowing multiple users to plug in and share music at the same time.

Another example is the patented EarClick technology used in the design of Medis, creating a hybrid between an in-ear and a headphone. The inner piece features an interchangeable earpad at the top for a comfatable fit that doesn't fall out when the user is moving.

“This design really sums up the concept of fashion headphones. With Medis, for example, our patented technology features a chord with aluminium detailing that resembles a stitch in reference to the tailored look of fashion,” says Marcus Rudbäck, Norra Norr creative director and co-founder.

The Urbanears headphones are retailed between €40 & €60 and all models will be available in 14 colors presented in a friendly matte finish. In addition, each headphone comes stock with microphone and remote compatible with Nokia, Iphone, Blackberry and HTC, among others. The products are available in stores throughout the EU, North America and Japan and Plattan and Tanto will hit the shelves early December, with Medis to be launched in March 2010.

About Norra Norr

Norra Norr is a Stockholm-based industrial design consultancy made up of Andreas Enqvist, Erik Petersèn and Marcus Rudbäck. Norra Norr works with product development, future concepts, packaging, retail and illustration in a variety of fields, but they specialize in sporting equipment, fashion electronics, toys and games, and strategic design. Team members have worked with clients such as Volvo, Scania, Electrolux, POC, Absolut Vodka, and Lego. Norra Norr has also carved a niche for itself within the growing field of fashionable technology through collaboration with fashion brands such as WeSC and Yniq.