Catalano Design wins an EPDA award for product design

We're happy to announce that we have won a silver medal in the prestigious European Product Design Awards(EPDA), in the category of Media and Home Electronics/TV, Video and Audio Equipment. EPDA honors the best in product design globally, with the goal of advancing the appreciation of design worldwide. Each submitted design was evaluated by the EPDA jury on its own merit, based on form, function, and innovation.


The silver medal was awarded to Catalano Design for our design for HIFIMAN’s award-winning HE1000V2 planar magnetic headphones. When HIFIMAN set out to create this flagship product, their goal was to create the best headphone in the world. They selected Catalano to work with them to create a class-leading user experience from an ergonomic and aesthetic perspective, while utilizing HIFIMAN’s revolutionary driver technology to create a listening experience for audiophiles around the world. Our goal in designing the HE1000 V2 was to honor and elevate the pact between HIFIMAN and the audio world of commitment to beauty, comfort, and manufacturing quality in addition to groundbreaking sound.


Innovations Throughout the Design

Careful ergonomic study and iterative testing comprised the foundation upon which we built key aspects of the design. A study of the skull and ears informed the asymmetrical shape of the ear cup, which we developed to create an even seal around the ear and a large surface area for the planar magnetic driver. The cups are beveled so that they contour to the shape of user’s head, not only for comfort over extended listening periods, but also for optimal acoustic seal.


Our extensive experience across a variety of industries and products led us to design lightweight, durable wood rings for the earcups that encase the drivers, borrowing manufacturing techniques for molding high quality plywood utilized in the furniture industry.

The headband design sets a new standard for comfort in large planar magnetic headphones. An entirely new approach to weight support accommodates a broad range of head shapes and sizes while evenly and comfortably distributing the weight of the phones and providing a generous area of contact.

We eliminated all unnecessary parts to create unparalleled comfort for the headphones which are often worn for hours on end. The headband combines a stainless steel spring with perforated suede in a unique suspension system that is sturdy, lightweight, and dissipates heat.

The innovative grill system was designed to provide both driver protection and an open back design that yields the best possible sound quality. The patented “Window Shade” grill is constructed of premium alloys precisely designed to keep sound waves from a second refraction to avoid unwanted vibration and distortion, resulting in a wider and more open soundstage, outstanding imaging, and remarkable clarity.

Finally, the overall physical structure of the assembly took on a minimalist design to save precious weight, reducing the piece to its essence.

The result: a headphone design that has won numerous awards from leading audiophile magazines and organizations in the audiophile market for its innovative style, superior comfort, and sound.

“We’re honored to have been chosen for this award, and to have the opportunity to work with the HIFIMAN team on this ground-breaking product”, said Carol Catalano, our President. “We’re very pleased that the design has provided a level of comfort, style, ergonomics, and innovation that matches well with the breakthroughs in technology developed by Dr. Bian and HIFIMAN."

“This award is truly a great honor for Catalano Design and the HIFIMAN team, and one that we will hold in high esteem," said Dr. Bian, Founder and President of HIFIMAN. “The HE1000 has taken both Catalano Design and HIFIMAN several years of collaboration, patience, and hard work. Recognition such as the EPDA award shows that our joint efforts have been worthwhile."


Carol Catalano