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Sheffield Hallam University
Degree Show 2020

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Tim Sutton-Brand
Phon
An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Tim Sutton-Brand
Phon

Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out, with an emphasis on intuitive user operation, and product longevity. Tim Sutton-Brand’s research showed a huge potential for a product in this category, with almost all sports headphones on the market being of the in-ear style, despite over 2 million people in the UK alone using over-ear headphones at the gym regularly. This issue of discomfort while wearing over-ear headphones is a problem that can be even worse in warmer climates, with this warmth causing excessive sweating around the ears and head. Phon includes a thermoelectric Peltier cooler system which cools down both the air around the user’s ears, as well as the graphite-gel infused memory foam that makes up the thick cushioning in contact with the user’s skin. A heat sink and exposed vent allow the thermal energy to escape from the closed system. Focus groups shaped Phon’s intuitive control system with self-orienting left/right earcups, rotating wheels used to control volume and media playback and automatic turning on/off when the headphones are unfolded.

Sutton-Brand sets out to design intuitive products and systems that are accessible to a wide variety of people.

“I pride myself in designing creative, innovative solutions to problems that are well considered in all aspects including environmental and ethical issues. I am a firm believer in designing products that age well, and last for many years rather than incorporating planned obsolesce, or poor quality components”.

In 2018 Sutton-Brand spent a year in industry working as a Product and Packaging Designer for Peter Black, designing packaging for high street retailers including Sainsburys’, Boots, Morrisons and Superdrug. He is currently working at 8th Wonder as a Product Designer working as part of a small team designing plush and wooden toys under a variety of different brand licenses.

An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Phon
Initial sketches for the product’s heatsink design
An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Phon
Exploded view of the product’s left earc
An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Phon
Reverse assembly of the product
An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Phon
The Phon app that can be used to customise the product’s settings, and EQ
An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Phon
The product’s proprietary charging case
An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Phon
Context image
An image of Tim Sutton-Brand's Phon is a pair of over-ear headphones specifically designed for comfortable use in warm environments or while working out
Phon
Phon comes in two distinct finishes, Mineral White and Burnt Ebony