Connecting Learners with Mindful Audio Design

At AVID, we are committed to connecting millions of learners with mindful audio technology design that enables inclusive and personalized learning experiences, as well as enhances professional development and wellness.

We believe staying connected allows us to take the learning experience anywhere. Whether it’s at home, in the classroom or office or even while traveling, there are more ways than ever to access information to help a person grow as a learner and for many, audio and listening are a huge part of their learning process.

In a traditional sense, learning happens at school, but learning is also understanding how to relax more easily by listening to a meditation podcast or playing an instrument by ear and are just as important a part of our human development as acquiring a degree may be.

With our history in audio innovation, AVID continues to develop and design headphones and headsets, staying mindful of the needs of each listener, the way people will be using the audio device and how we may deliver quality sound in an accessible and inclusive way to encourage learning in any shape or form.

AVID’s roots in creating audio experiences

Since 1953, AVID has been creating audio experiences that transcend industries–from developing the first in-flight headphone in 1961 to our full stack speakers in the 70s and 80s with sound quality still being lauded today on audiophile messageboards.

Throughout the years, AVID began to diversify audio solutions into different markets, including education, hospitality and healthcare. During that time, our dedication to delivering quality and accessible solutions never changed. As our company continues to evolve, incorporating elements into our products that align with our vision has become an even more crucial part of the design process.

“In our future, all product development [at AVID] will have, at its core, intrinsic features such as great audio sound, great mic sound and accessibility.”

Christine Contant, Director of Engineering, AVID Products

Mindful design features in AVID audio solutions

The right headphones can make all the difference in terms of the listening experience. Important components we must consider when designing an audio tool or product are health and safety, comfort and durability, while also making sure the product is user-friendly.

Safety is extremely vital when it comes to any kind of product design and this is especially true while creating products for children. When it comes to headphones, noise-limiting speakers create a safer listening experience for little ears. The AVID AE-25 headset is equipped with this feature, not allowing the volume to exceed 85dB to avoid early hearing loss. In addition to safe sound, other design elements to consider in a headset for early learners are ensuring it is easy to use and that there aren’t any small parts that may be swallowed, as well as a durable and chew-resistant braided cord.

Almost all headphone models today have adjustable headbands and cushioned ear pads—key features for comfort. Headbands should be adjustable so that they may fit comfortably on a variety of head sizes or grow with a child until they are ready for the next size up. Soft and cushioned ear pads, such as the deluxe version on the AVID AE-75 headset, allow for comfort during long listening sessions. The ear padding also aids in canceling out background noise, increasing focus and deterring the listener from having to turn the volume up to an unsafe level.

Overall, AVID audio solutions are comprised to be durable, lightweight and easy to clean. Durability ensures the headphones will hold up over time and withstand multiple uses. The AVID AE-55 embodies this with a sturdy design and one that can handle being tossed into your bag or desk regularly. A lightweight design is important if you’re going to be carrying the headphones around, such as during travel, or when wearing them for long periods of time. An easy to clean model means shared headphones or headsets may be safe and healthy for each individual to wear.

Ensuring the best quality sound

It’s important to remember that sound quality is not an afterthought. It’s something to be considered from the very beginning of design, and is kept top of mind during every step in the development process. The best way to ensure the highest possible audio quality is by working with a professional audio engineer who understands how human hearing works and can guide the development of quality products.

Every AVID audio solution is put through a series of tests to achieve specific levels, such as bass and treble, frequencies and clarity to create a sound that best reproduces the audio being played. In the same notion, a headset’s microphone is tested to see how well it is able to cancel out background noise to enable speech to be heard clearly. This aspect is especially important when it comes to learning assessments or online collaboration.

Designing with accessibility and inclusion in mind

Sound is an important factor in many types of media and learning platforms and creating accessible experiences has become a priority. Audio aids in the application of many programs and headphones help create a custom listening and learning experience.

When designing headphones for learners with different learning styles, it’s important to consider how audio can be used to enhance the visual experience. For example, if a course is self-paced and has video content that may be paused at any time, sound fading in and out between scenes rather than sudden cuts allows learners who are more sensitive to abrupt noises time to adjust their ears for each new scene. In the same sense, incorporating volume control into an audio device enables each listener to listen at their own comfort level, such as in the AVID AE-39 headset.

A headset with a flexible microphone provides an easy way to position the mic to the specific needs of the speaker, while an ambidextrous style allows you to wear the microphone on the left or right side (see the AVID AE-55). On the other hand, limited moving parts on a simple headphone frame create a better user experience for every age and ability.

Connecting learners with mindful audio design

We live in a very connected world. People are always listening to music and audio on the go, just walking down the street or commuting to work. With the portability of the individual listening experience, headphones allow you to hear what you want—and only what you want—when going about your day.

When you consider the needs of all learners and listeners at every age and for a variety of needs and environments, incorporating mindful audio design delivers audio experiences that allow us to listen and learn anytime, anywhere.

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Elizabeth Woodard

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