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Guest Writer
May 13, 2016

Coconut headphones, Jerrycan speakers, and Modular Cargo Bicycle Kits

Last week we decided to take a sneak peek in our Hardware Lab on the ground floor. Our maker in residence Luc Wattendorff is working on various projects there, and one of them is headphones made from coconuts & 3D printed parts. It sparked our curiosity! They look amazing and the sound is great, so we wanted to know more.

Hey Luc! Headphones made from coconuts.. How did you stumble upon this idea?

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I got to know that there are loads of instruments made from coconut shell. Like the M’bira, guitars in classic African tribal music, or the Berimbau from Brazil. I started to investigate the material a little more in-depth. After all, in terms of material coconut shell is just  a super hard wood, having naturally grown around a round surface. The harder the wood, the better the sound, so why not give it a try? After initial experiments it worked out great, almost like the super expensive wood-housing phones you can buy in stores. That’s when I decided that I just had to keep going.

Is the quality of your headphones comparable with standard headphones of say, Sennheiser??

The headphones are made out of natural material, so they produce a unique sound with every pair. It’s because of the different shell shapes of every individually grown coconut. We aim to be all-natural, thus not modified to equal common taste. I think the differences between pairs of headphones can be a blessing but also a curse: they’ll never be hi-fi like Bose, but the natural material used to make them is a great advantage. I wouldn’t say any pair has had a mentionable quality lack in terms of sound so far. Having that said; everyone has a different taste, so you just have to try and find if the sound suits you.

What’s the development plan?

Right now, I and a couple of nice people who I met in betahaus are working on publishing and producing them in a fair, decentralised manner. But I can’t say more! It’s top secret!

The all-made-by-me-version is available on request at betahaus’ Hardware Lab, on the ground floor.

 

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So we can only buy them by visiting you in the hardware lab? How much do they cost?

For now, almost, yes. Be it you happen to hear about them or to know me. But hopefully in the future you’ll be able to buy them online too. At the moment their price is 80 euros, but it may rise as soon as they’re launched.

Any other crazy projects you’re working on in the lab?

At the time, we’re working on a few different things. There is a project around a jerrycan-speaker-and-amp-combo with bluetooth connection, made from a World War II, that David and I will finish in May. Other projects include DIY-sunshades from the 3d-printer featuring real protective mineral glass lenses, and, most recently, a modular cargo bicycle kit fitting any normal street bike. But if and how ‘crazy’ that is , you get to decide.

Article written by Olga Kusnierska

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