Sennheiser has a branding problem. Although the German audio company has been around for more than 60 years, only 10% of regular headphone consumers know its name. Matthew Lim, a recent ID grad, thinks he might have the answer for boosting brand recognition and capturing that coveted market of 24–35-year-olds: EcoVinyl, a turntable-headphone duo made from sustainable materials.
Lim developed the concept at the Art Center College of Design. "I took note that Sennheiser has made moves to make their company more sustainable by introducing fully recyclable packaging," he tells Co.Design. "The next step is to make the product itself more environment-friendly." He chose high-density fiberboard, which is often used for audio-system closure boxes because of its ability to carry sound reverb; cork for the turntable and earphone headband; and aluminum, which he CNC’d to produce a durable body. Lim capped the target price at $350.
One could certainly buy a used turntable on eBay for less and earn even more green cred, but, as Lim points out, you might still have to purchase extra hardware (an amplifier, EQ adjustment, etc.) to get it up to speed. The Eco-Vinyl, on the other hand, comes in a ready-to-go set. Plus, Lim argues, its carbon footprint is minimal, with 45% fiberboard (which is recyclable and biodegradable) and a metal body that can be easily removed with an Allen wrench and recycled.
Unfortunately, that’s neither here nor there. Sennheiser hasn’t committed to producing the student project. Here’s hoping Lim recycles the idea and pitches it elsewhere.