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Hooked on Sound: 3D Printed Headphones

Hooke Audio envisions a hi-fi future–achieved by using binaural recording technologies that seep into our everyday lives, aiming for a collective desire for better sound quality. Anthony, CEO of Hooke Audio, hopes that in this way we will become true sound consumers.

No one cares about sound quality. There are tools in everyday life for good lighting, quality visuals, high-definition…but the same is not true for sound.

Making use of the Form 1+ 3D printer for prototyping, Hooke Audio is making this vision a reality. Anthony wanted a way to capture his 3D studio sound work for an online portfolio when he stumbled across binaural recording, a method of recording sound that uses multiple microphones arranged to create a stereo sound experience.

Coming into the project, Anthony already had a vision for the shape and feel of the Hooke headphones. They'd double as high-quality headphones, he insisted, because that was the easiest way to get the correctly placed microphones needed to record binaurally at the touch of a button, without convincing a consumer to carry around another new gadget.

hooke audio headphone mockup

When Anthony described his vision to Joshua Hoisington, Hooke’s resident mechanical and electrical engineer, showing him 3D sketches and models on a computer screen, Joshua recalled having seen the Form 1+ in an issue of MAKE Magazine. They used the Form 1+'s high-precision prototyping capabilities to reiterate their initial design numerous times, a process that could have put them out of business at the outset due to the high costs of iterating prototypes by way of outsourcing.

We would've spent easily three grand just to get micro changes done, then go back and do more prototyping, but we got a Form 1+ and the device very quickly paid for itself.

hooke audio headphone cutout

Hooke printed many iterations of their design in Black, Grey, White, and Clear Resins before creating a final model for review with prospective clients.

Sound can trigger specific times and places from our past…and bring them to life. [It can] help you visualise these places as reality. Things that visuals alone can't do.

If binaural recording sounds like it might pique your interest, you can learn more at Hooke Audio, or check out Anthony's sound-art blog.

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