2013 saw the rise of Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds. Some of the largest audio brands were quick to launch their versions with the latest technology and sleek design. However, these were still primarily targeted at early adopters and, as is often the case with new technology, came at a price that made them less accessible to the average consumer.

JAM Audio entrusted our talented team of designers with developing a product that would compete in this emerging category. The brand provides audio products at affordable prices but with the performance that would compete with any of the big brands. Their first Bluetooth earbuds would need to do the same.

Our designers started by identifying the end user as a young, active, and budget conscious consumer, then built “day in the life” stories for a few sample personas.  With a clear vision of how the earbuds would fit into their daily routines, it quickly became apparent that there were several scenarios where this new wireless format would present usability challenges that didn’t previously exist with wired earbuds.

We identified three significant challenges –

  • Comfort and fit of a larger earbud that would contain a battery and all of the required electronics for a Bluetooth connection.
  • Easily accessible and identifiable controls for phone and music which would be out of sight when in use.
  • Finally, to store the earbuds when not in use while preventing cord tangles or worse, lost buds.

The result is a wireless headphone design that is sweat resistant with 6 hours of battery life, making them ideal for the active consumer as well as the modern commuter. To address the challenges identified earlier, we developed a unique Mag-Lock feature which draws the earbuds to each other, securing them around the neck when not in use.  This feature would keep them easily accessible, and prevent the cord from getting tangled in a bag or pocket. This small but crucial feature went a long way to improve user experience and became a defining aspect of not only this model, but many of JAM’s future wireless earbuds. Transit Buds quickly became a staple in JAM’s headphone offerings. In the years following its initial launch the Transit Buds line-up evolved along with the Bluetooth technology inside to include multiple Mini and Micro versions.

The final product, JAM Transit earbuds are an attractive athletic earbud with a clean modern aesthetic, and one of the first BT earbuds retailing for under $50. It was right in line with the rest of JAM’s product line, finding that ideal balance of performance, style, and price.

Our team of designers was called on again to provide a packaging design for the earbuds, bringing the project full circle. It was essential to showcase the product in a unique package that would stand out in a sea of options. A simple modern form, with a full clear acrylic front panel, matched the design language of the product while providing the user with a comprehensive view of the earbuds; letting the design and features inside speak for themselves.

Shape Products designed packaging for Jam Transit Earbuds