Sensible Music

A current health risk for a lot of people, especially youth, is music induced hearing loss. Young people turn up the volume of their music on their mp3 player to feel the low tones, increasing the risk of hearing loss. With this project I presented a design to really feel the music when listening to it with an mp3-player while having the music’s volume on a healthy level; Sensible Music. The Dutch Hearing Society makes young people aware of the risks of music induced hearing loss and acted as an expert partner.

The main product consists of three parts: the filtering module and two separate vibration motors. The signal of an mp3-player is filtered and the lower frequencies are translated to the two vibration motors. The vibration motors are attached to the wires of the ear buds and when you are listening to your favorite music you will really feel the beat. Want to feel more? Just detach one of the vibration motors and click it onto your shirt and the vibration will spread through your clothing. Not enough? Put on one of the specially designed sensible music garments, attach the vibration motor and feel the beat travel to your body. Music is perceived as being loud on a safe volume.

Sensible Music; Listening to music never felt this good.


Price: Sensible Music was awarded the James Dyson Award Holland 2011


Dutch Design week 2010 at ID’10 exhibition

DHUB Barcelona 2012 : System Design: The Eindhoven School



KijK No1 2011
Cursor TU/e November 2010
Matrix Tu/e December 2010

For this project the Dutch Hearing Society acted as an expert partner. They said the following about the project (Orignal in Dutch below)

“The Dutch Hearing Society works on preventing music induced hearing loss. We would like to see young people putting less stress on their hearing. We don’t want to act like the hearing police, because young people should be able to just enjoy their music. Sensible music fits with this point of view: less stress on the hearing which leads to a decreasing risk of hearing loss and a surprisingly complete music experience. This idea deserves a future.”

Herman ten Berge, director Dutch Hearing Society

“De Nationale Hoorstichting werkt aan preventie van gehoorschade door harde muziek. Wij zouden graag zien dat jongeren hun gehoor minder belasten. Maar we willen dit zonder opgeheven vingertje doen, omdat jongeren ook gewoon van hun muziek moeten kunnen genieten. Sensible Music past precies in deze gedachte: minder belasting voor het gehoor, waardoor lawaaischade voorkomen wordt, maar een verrassend complete muziekbeleving. Dit idee verdient navolging.”

Herman ten Berge, directeur Nationale Hoorstichting