Upgrades Explained. 2015 vs. the 2014 Hibermate.
Posted by Chris Thomas on January 15, 2015. 2 Comments
In this post I want to take you through the main changes to the new 2015 compared to the 2014 model and also let you know what I'm hoping to work on this year later on in this update.
I've also tried to show the upgrades using images towards the end of this post as well.
So, what's changed?
Well, we've had tons of feedback from amazing previous customers, some of which has been great, and some of which, well, hasn't.
There's been some fairly critical feedback justifiably leveled at various aspects of the last model. So, in no particular order and without any sugar coating, most people had issues with...
- the packaging - it wasn't very good,
- the comfort levels over a long period of wear, and critically,
- the disappointing level of sound reduction.
So all last year I was listening and collating all the feedback and working hard with some existing and new suppliers to re-tool, redesign and re-engineer nearly every single aspect of the Hibermate for 2015.
Here's a quick rundown of the improvements:
- The new 2015 Hibermate's silicone ear cups are 5 x thicker than the previous ones. Yes. Five. Times. Thicker. And they block at least twice, if not 3 times as much noise. At least. The second you put them on you'll notice a big difference.
- The foam inserts that kept falling out all the time and looked plain awful have been replaced by world class leatherette ear cushions - they will not fall out. They are exactly the same as you'd find on a $300 pair of Beats Studio 2.0, Sennheiser or Bose headphones. They now offer superior moisture wicking, unbelievable comfort, they look great and offer a great seal for further sound reduction. They're simply heavenly.
- On the packaging side I worked with a new design company in the United States for a full 'retail-ready' update. I think it looks great and the instructions (again, missing from the last version) are printed inside... No more guesswork.
- I also added 2 new colours, Tangerine Orange and Hot Pink in addition to Pitch Black, Dark Navy, Kickstarter Green & Rich Burgundy.
- The dangly strap issue has been easily solved by adding an additional set of adjuster clips which helps maintain the correct fit and keeps the straps looking nice and tidy.
It's been an expensive year. The cost per unit has nearly doubled but I am keeping the price the same. It's been worth it and I'm really proud of this new model. I can't wait to start working on the 2016 model in the coming months...
Speaking of which, let's me take you through some of the updates I'm planning.
The 2014 model and 2015 model's sleep mask is exactly the same. I received a lot of compliments about how amazing it is. The only criticisms have been that for some people it's a little too big - nobody fed back that it was too small!
So for the next upgrade we'll be reducing the size of the mask by 5 - 10%. I'm waiting on a prototype which will be sent to me in the next or so (it's January 2015 as I'm writing this).
For the ear cups, I'm doing some work with my friend George over at the Great Products Group in the United States. Like me, George is also a product designer (a much better one) and he and I are prototyping some radical improvements to the current ear cup designs. We're potentially looking to move away from silicone and will be experimenting with some new materials, so please stay tuned for updates.
Finally, I'm also looking to work alongside my amazing seamstress, Arwen to create the Hibermate "band" and the "hat" which hopefully will be 2 new products I can add to the range this year. I get so many emails from people asking if they can wear the cups without the sleep mask (writers, people trying to work in noisy environments etc) who don't want the sleep mask and don't want to wear silly looking and uncomfortable industrial ear muffs. So I'm really keen to help more people with these potential new products.
The changes in pictures:
New Colours - 2 new colours
|2014 - four colours||2015 - six colours|
|2014 Packaging||2015 Packaging|
|2014 Instructions||2015 Instructions|
Sound Blocking & Ear Cushion Upgrades
|2014 Ear Cups (1mm thick back wall)||2015 Ear Cups (5mm thick back wall) and new cushions|
Please keep the constructive feedback coming. I really appreciate you and your input.