This device should protect users against excessive noise levels.
We have designed and prepared for production neckband earphones for our valuable customer in the wearable segment. Consilia was responsible for the whole hardware design.
Our Task and Challenge
The task was to design a new product that would fit into an existing family of high-end headphones and serve as a personal protection device that should provide hearing protection against excessive noise levels.
We took over a part of the concept from the previous members of the family. New features were added as the product was deemed the top product on the existing roadmap.
The team had to tackle several challenges. When our team received the offer to design the product, the release date was already overdue, so the time pressure was immense. There were three development teams – Industrial design, Mechanical design, and Electrical design – located in three different time zones.
The biggest challenge was the uncertainty of the product owner whether it was possible to fit all features into such a tiny and constrained space.
Consilia was responsible for the whole hardware design. We have identified PCB manufacturers that were able to produce PCBs for wearable products.
We selected components with the smallest packages available on the market.
The whole product consisted of 5 PCBs. During numerous iterations among all teams, we have finalized the location of all key parts. Certain features, such as Bluetooth parts, had to be localized together, and certain features were relatively free to move.
Often, the sub-millimeter height of components was a decisive factor in moving the whole functional block to a different board. The boards were connected by a flexible PCB, the design of which turned out to be a more challenging than expected by the management.
The requirements for track width, current density, and signal integrity disqualified our former partners for such products. Still, we managed to find the desired solution.
The customer appreciated our agile approach in dealing with such a challenging project on short notice. The fact that we could address the teams regarding the constraints of electrical design also contributed to the satisfaction. We were also praised for the excellent cooperation that allowed the mass production release in the expected time frame.
How It Is Made
The neckband is made of a customized plastic tube with appropriate holders for the PCBs. In theWear mode, the earphone plugs are fitted to the ends, the cables with optimum lengths for the plugs are placed partly outside the chassis. In the usage mode, the plugs are removed from the tube ends, and fitted to the ears. Five buttons for the most frequent control functions are fitted to the chassis. The whole thing is charged via a USB-C connector. The product uses 0201 components.
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Consilia has a workforce of 30 developers in the competence fields of software development, software testing, hardware design, RF design, FPGA design, DSP design, and PCB design.