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May 8, 2015 4:38 PM ET

Archived: AXEL. Modular headphones with a difference: Soundscapes

iCrowdNewswire - May 8, 2015

AXEL. Modular headphones with a difference: Soundscapes.

by Axel Audio

Choose from 3 Soundscapes—Pure, Deep, and Core—to design and build headphones that you can call your own.

Axel Audio

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About this project

We all have distinct tastes in music. Why can’t our headphones be built to embrace these differences?

Introducing Soundscapes. 

Soundscapes are three specifically engineered speaker units—Pure, Deep, and Core—suited to match your listening preferences. 

Combine our foldable and detachable headbands, soft headband inserts, and cables together with your chosen Soundscape to create your personalized Axel Audio experience.


Step 1: Select your Soundscape.

Soundscapes are specifically engineered speaker units designed to match your unique listening behavior.

While our headphones all share the same exterior design, the difference between each Soundscape comes down to inner engineering.

Based on your listening preferences, you can choose a Soundscape that will reproduce your favorite type of music with the best possible sound. 

Before choosing if you prefer on-ear or over-ear headphones, use our web application to find your Soundscape: app.axelaudio.com 

Our web application—powered by Spotify—utilizes over 1,200 genre tags and intelligent music algorithms from The Echo Nest to help you find your optimal Soundscape.

There are 3 Soundscapes:

Soundscape Deep drives rhythmic patterns with reverberating lows for the fullest, most immediate experience. Best for hip-hop, dance, and electronic genres.

Soundscape Pure is an extremely refined and open sound that unveils all details. Best for ambient, jazz, classical, and folk genres.

Soundscape Core is the most dynamic sound, with smooth textures and an especially sweet mid-range. Best for contemporary pop and rock genres.

Each Soundscape is available in on-ear or over-ear design. 

Step 2: Now that you have selected your Soundscape, choose your design—on-ear or over ear.

Our on-ear speaker units create a headphone set that’s compact and versatile. 

Our over-ear speaker units offer a more spacious sound-stage, in addition to improved isolation. 

With both unit sizes, we aimed to provide optimal sealing and comfort by embedding our leatherette cushion with memory foam. 

Step 3: Choose your headphone set based on the above selections. Your headphones will arrive disassembled with building instructions.

Step 4: Customize the style of your headphones with your 3 included headband inserts.

Your headphones will arrive with 3 headband inserts — Classics, Spikes and Waves. Our headband inserts are made of ultra soft silicone material and are washable. They are interchangeable, so you can easily customize your headphones for an edgy, cool, or classy look.

Our “Classic,” “Spikes” and “Waves” inserts will mold to the shape of your head over time, providing different degrees of comfort and feel. 

Everyone that backs our campaign receive a Kickstarter exclusive “Waves” insert in glow-in-the-dark green.”

Step 5: Enjoy.


Each of our 3 Soundscapes have a unique, custom designed and engineered 40mm neodymium driver, speaker coating, filter texture, and shape. 

During construction, we focused on engineering the inner chambers of our headphone speaker units––creating different pathways for air travel in order to reflect sound for the best acoustics.

Most manufacturers don’t let you choose a driver suited to your taste in music. However, we engineered our Soundscapes to function within the confines of our singular design––all at affordable price points.


Our ultra-soft leatherette ear cushions are made of memory foam, which improves sound quality. The padding provides additional comfort and isolation as the cushions shape to your ears

Our foldable and detachable headband is constructed from HD nylon which is virtually indestructible.

Our wash-proof headband inserts are made of ultra-soft silicon and provide variations in comfort and style.

Our cables are made of tangle-free and durable TPE+TPU material.

Our 40mm neodymium speaker drivers are distinct to each Soundscape.


  • Principle: Electrodynamic 
  • Diameter: 40.0 ± 0.2mm 
  •  Magnet Type: Neodymium 
  • Impedance: 32Ω ± 15% 
  •  DC Resistance: 30Ω ± 15% 
  •  Sensitivity: 118 ± 3dB 
  •  Frequency Range: 20Hz – 20,000Hz


All Axel Audio headphone sets include a total of 3 headband inserts — 1 “Classic” headband insert; 1 red “Spikes” insert; an a Kickstarter-exclusive glow-in-the-dark green “Waves” insert.

Domestic shipping included.

Early Bird Special: Axel on-ear headphone set 

In the box: On-ear headphones available in black or white sets 

Your choice of a Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure) 

We will have 100 early bird specials available for almost 45% off retail price [$150]. When these run out, we will offer a special Kickstarter price at over a 25% discount.

Early Bird Special: Axel over-ear headphone set

In the box: Over-ear headphones available in black sets (for now!)

Your choice of a Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure) 

We will have 100 early bird specials available for almost 40% off retail price [$180]. When these run out, we will offer a special Kickstarter price at over a 25% discount.

Axel on-ear headphone set

In the box: On-ear headphones available in black or white sets 

Your choice of a Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure) 

Axel over-ear headphone set

In the box: Over-ear headphones available in black sets 

Your choice of a Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure) 

Axel on-ear + over-ear 

In the box: 1 full Axel on-ear headphone set (your choice of color & Soundscape) 

1 over-ear Soundscape of your choice (speaker units only only).

Axel on-ear + over-ear combo pack 

In the box: 1 full Axel on-ear headphone set (available in black) with your choice of Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure). 

1 full Axel over-ear headphone set with your choice of Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure).

Axel on-ear: Two pack

In the box: 2 full Axel over-ear headphone sets (available in black or white) with your choice of Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure) for each.

Axel over-ear: Two pack

In the box: 2 full Axel over-ear headphone sets with your choice of Soundscape (Core, Deep or Pure) for each.

Axel on-ear: Three pack

In the box: 3 full Axel on-ear headphones (available in black or white sets) with your choice of Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure) for each.

Axel over-ear: Three pack

In the box: 3 full Axel over-ear headphone sets with your choice of Soundscape (Core, Deep, or Pure) for each.


In 1983, at age 18, Sam Oh left his hometown in South Korea and found his way to the Big Apple. With nothing more than a few dollars to his name and a bootleg Walkman, Sam began his career by selling electronics door to door in New York. What began as a humble career in electronics laid the foundation for Axel Audio years later.

After working in electronics for almost 30 years, Sam saw an opportunity to change the way high quality audio products are made. He enlisted his son and daughter, Kevin and Samantha, to help him actualize his dream. The combination of Sam’s innovative drive, Kevin’s passion for songwriting and Samantha’s eye for design forged a highly creative and strong familial foundation to build upon.

This is how Axel began.

Now, we’re turning to you, the Kickstarter community to help transform what began as our passion into a reality.




Kevin joined Axel after graduating from Dartmouth and working at GE Capital and AGC Partners. He’s a singer-songwriter with a passion for sound, who now leads Axel.


Arriving to the U.S. with very little to his name, sold electronics door to door in New York before eventually founding and leading a multinational consumer electronics corporation. He then started Axel.


A lead product designer at a leading electronics company for almost a decade and principal at Design Continuum, with many awards and recognition from the CE industry.


Also a Dartmouth graduate, a creative with a love for all things related to storytelling who is Axel’s creative director.


The lead engineer behind our products and brain behind the Axel Soundscapes application.


Lead Package Designer that has worked with several well-known brand licenses for the gaming, consumer electronics and mobile accessories industry over a decade.


Our initial goal of $180,000 is the cost to create tooling.

Our manufacturing partner is one of the largest and leading OEM headphones manufacturers, with over 20 years of experience building high quality audio products. We began working with them in April 2014 and they have been intensively involved in all facets of our development. We wanted to ensure reliability before bringing our project to you, not only as an idea, but as a rigorously researched, tested, and now near production ready product. We’re on track to ship your headphones to you in just a little over 2 months.

Our tooling cost is generally more expensive than that of a typical headphone manufacturer. Here’s why:

1. The nature of our fully collapsible and interchangeable design, requires us to create completely original tooling molds for all of their smaller components. 

2. Each of our six unique drivers requires its own tooling, while other parts like the silicon inserts, involve a more specialized process. 

3. Together with our manufacturer, we are working around the clock to insure the highest level of tooling quality, quality control, manufacturing workmanship, and above all else, audio engineering.



We have bigs plans for the future of Axel Audio. Pending on Kickstarter funding, we hope to: 

  • Build upon our current model by creating more designs, colors and further developing our Soundscapes.
  • Expand our Soundscape App to analyze more types of listening patterns across various digital music platforms.
  •  Advance our scope of headphone technology to include wireless capabilities.


For media inquiries please contact Sabrina Dax:

Risks and challenges

Our team has researched and tested the technology of Axel Audio for two years. We’ve become extremely familiar with the details of manufacturing.

As with all startups there will be errors and issues down the road that could not have been anticipated. Since we are aiming to integrate software and hardware, there may be new developments that inspire us to retrace our steps and make adjustments to allow users the fullest Axel Audio experience. We’ve tried and tested every facet of Axel and we will continue to ensure that our backers will have the highest quality listening experience possible.

Although we have a working relationship with our manufacturer, unforeseeable factors may stall production. If this happens, we want to ensure that your product is manufactured with the best possible materials available. Ensuring quality may mean a delay of shipments.

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