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The Latest Trends in Headphones

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Velodyne has an established, 30-year foothold in the audio industry and has catered to those that expect and demand high-quality sound. This started with our ground-breaking subwoofer technology in the 1980’s and has continued on to our first headphone released in 2010 to our most recent headphones released this year. With the ubiquity of iPods and smart phones in recent years, everyone from kids to teens to adults of all ages have been utilizing headphones for portable audio.  Trends have certainly developed as headphones have become a fashion accessory.  Listeners have become much more conscious of the color, shape and size of the headphones that they are wearing in addition to (and sometimes in place of!) the sound quality.IMG_3059

Veldodyne products do not require you to compromise your listening experience for the sake of appearances. Our on-ear vFree wireless  headphones are available in black, white and silver. Skins designed by our President and recognized public artist Marta Hall, are now available for our vFree headphones to allow for customization, personalization and expression of style while being able to enjoy the music free of cords if you wish. The sleek style and modern look of the vFree headphones is extremely attractive but our spot-on style doesn’t end there.vFree Skins Fashionware

Our vTrue studio headphones are in a luxury class all their own. Made from forged aluminum and genuine, supple leather, our vTrue headphones epitomize function and fashion –  providing excellent sound quality and clean bass. The vTrue headphones are large over-ear headphones which make them comfortable to wear and provide a great seal to block out outside noise. With the recent popularity of all things retro, the large pads and ear cup design have really struck the fancy of true audiophiles who appreciate the crisp, true sound of the music and the bass output Velodyne customers have come to expect.IMG_4284

Our vPulse in-ear headphones are an extremely versatile product.  Available in black, pink and our signature “Velodyne electric blue”,  the vPulse provide plenty of variety in the color department.  The vPulse utilize a flat cord which has gained popularity recently due to its tendency to tangle less than the standard round shaped cords.  The vPulse are equipped with a mic and controls located on the left hand cord which is a recent trend that we have seen from headphones which allows you to easily switch from music to phone calls and gives you the ability to control volume and playback without having reach into your pocket.IMG_3540

Consumer electronics is an industry that is constantly evolving with trends and new advancements in technology. In regards to fashion, sometimes the old becomes new again. But one thing can be certain, the only thing that is constant is change. Velodyne is here for the long haul, to evolve and advance with technology and trends. Stay tuned for new headphones to be released later this year. You won’t be disappointed!

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Velodyne at Live 105.3 Ticket Pre-Sale for BFD 2013

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This past Saturday, Velodyne Acoustics participated in an event at  Shoreline Ampitheater in conjunction with the Live 105 ticket sale for the BFD concert which will be held on May 19, 2013. The tickets for this event, which boasts artists such as 30 Seconds to Mars, Silversun Pickups, The Mowgli’s, Atlas Genius, Jimmy Eat World, and Of Monsters and Men were sold at a steep discount ($10.53) for this one day only. Over 2,000 hopefuls flocked to Shoreline in droves and some camped out overnight to get these tickets.  Velodyne was there, with the back of our LiDAR Lexus packed with headphones.

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We held a contest to give away hundreds of pairs of the vFree Bluetooth headphones, as well as our vPulse in-ear headphones. This provided a great opportunity for more people to experience the excellent sound quality, portability and customizability of these wireless Bluetooth headphones and have fun while waiting in line.  Velodyne staff and interns from Live 105 were walking around with pairs of vFree around their necks and some displayed the custom skins. There were two easy ways to enter to win.  The first was an Instagram contest, where you could photograph yourself or your friends trying on a pair of our vFree headphones. and post to Instagram and/or Twitter tagging @VelodyneAudio using the hashtag #VeloBFD. Obtaining 20 likes on your photo would secure a you a free pair of vFree headphones.

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The second way to win another free pair of headphones required a creative flair. Velodyne provided blank headphone skins and art supplies for contestants to design a custom skin for the vFree headphones. Velodyne is currently in the voting process on the designs and will notify winners this week.  There was much excitement as people retweeted and liked their photos people and came to claim their prizes. We had several hundred entries into the drawing and over 200 people left with new Velodyne headphones! All in all, it was a great day at Shoreline!

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Velodyne’s Highlights from CES 2013

Our LiDAR car leaving headquarters for Las Vegas, NV

CES 2013 was big for Velodyne, Inc. The show started on Tuesday, January 8, but our journey started much earlier.  A lot of preparation was required as our newly built autonomous car equipped with our LiDAR technology hit the highway to debut at the trade show in Las Vegas, Nevada.

LiDAR readout “On the Road to CES”

Two people from Velodyne –  Pamela Gauci from our audio division and Rick Yoder from our LiDAR division – traveled over 3,000 miles from Silicon Valley to Las Vegas with time to spare to prepare for Unveiled, a huge CES press event. Unveiled, which took place on Sunday, January 6, was an exciting night for us. We had several press inquiries, gave video interviews, and hosted a packed table several people deep all night. We had a blast sharing information about our vTrue studio headphones, vFree wireless headphones as well as our vPulse in-ear headphones. It was also quite fun fielding the “What’s that?” questions about our LiDAR unit sitting on our table.

David Short from Velodyne interacting with members of the press

Once CES actually started, it was “go time” for us in our suite at The Venetian as we were met with a constant flow of traffic.  The audio floor we were on was the perfect place to showcase not only our headphone line but many of our subwoofers which are Velodyne’s legacy. The greatest part about it was being able to engage with many of our customers who came from all over the world to attend CES. Relationships were developed, built and strengthened over the course of the week.

Our suite on the audio floor

Laurel Nissen from Velodyne e-commerce talking headphones with the German press

Our listening station at CES offered some quality time with the vTrue and vFree

One of the new relationships we developed was quite unexpected. Kelly LeBrock, best known for her roles in movies from the 1980’s, “Weird Science” and “Woman in Red” made several appearances at CES, and some would also say she made her comeback. She was tied in closely to many of the events that Velodyne was a part of through Living in Digital Times, and we spent a few days getting to know her. She posed for photos and gave autographs wearing our vFree headphones at our LiDAR car in the Sands Ballroom at the Venetian. She also emceed Fashionware, a wearable tech fashion show which also included our vFree and new interchangeable headphone skins. She stopped by our suite and visited with us as well as joined a few of us for dinner one night. She is a truly charming, intelligent, down to earth and beautiful woman and we hope to work with her again soon!

The press and fans went crazy for Kelly LeBrock!

Our vFree with piano skin on a mannequin

Model wearing our vTrue

Model wearing our vFree around her neck with interchangeable pink skin

Marta Hall, President of Velodyne, was chosen to be a panelist for Women in CE, to discuss what it’s like being a woman in an industry comprised mainly of men. It was interesting to hear the panelists discuss the necessity for marketing to women and share their ideas about how this should be done.

Marta Hall joined the Mommy Tech panel moderated by Women in CE founder, Carol Campbell

Our LiDAR car got its fair share of attention. Autonomous vehicles and “smart” cars in general seemed to be a popular theme this year and Velodyne was not the only company with a self-driving car at the show. However, there is no doubt that Velodyne LiDAR is a true pioneer of the technology and our engineer had a steady stream of interested show attendees who were full of questions. It was great to have two of our company’s divisions represented at CES 2013. It’s truly an honor to work for a company whose CEO and Founder, David Hall, is an brilliant inventor.

An autonomous car on the show floor intrigued many a passerby!

Despite the fact that most of our team contracted the “Flu of CES 2013” we all came back to work super-charged and enthusiastic about our product and our company. That is probably the brightest highlight of the trade show this year. Until next year!

 

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Packaging as Inspiration

Our limited edition experimental vPulse packaging, designed by Alfredo Muccino and inspired by the art of sculpture.

Well, I’ve finally returned from my unofficial sabbatical…and am thrilled to be blogging again. Although I took a break from writing, I can assure you I did not take a break from working.

As you already know, we recently debuted several new lines of headphones. In addition to the vPulse, the vFree and vTrue are now available for purchase by Velodyne fans everywhere.

It goes without saying that the process of developing a product for a crowded marketplace is multi-layered and complex. But the creative process for developing the packaging of a product can be just as complicated

Henrik Persson’s literal take on packaging for a limited edition book about NYC, modeling it after a city skyscraper.

And that’s where I’ve been the last few months…deeply embedded in the packaging process. As with all developmental and creative processes, we began with meetings to discuss what we wanted from our packaging besides the obvious, selling the product.

This prompted me to think a lot about how packaging impacted me as a consumer. Typically, I walk into a store with no expectations. I take a step back, scanning the shelves and waiting for something to jump out at me. It’s as if I’m saying, “I’m here now. Impress me with something.”

What is the “something” I want?

I want a package to make me feel something meaningful. I want to feel inspired. I want to feel happy. I want to laugh. I want to be amazed. I want that package to stand up and make me smile, to compel me to pick it up and hear the promises it makes to me about what I can find inside.

This limited edition Nike shoebox, designed to mirror a sports stadium, is embedded with sound chips, causing a crowd to cheer when it’s opened.

Ultimately, I want that package to make me feel that I can’t leave the store without taking it with me. And once I get it home and remove what’s inside, I often treat the packaging as a product itself .

In fact, I’ve been known to save beautiful packaging and boxes for weeks or months, claiming, “Just in case. I might need it again some day. Really, I might.” The truth is that I just can’t bring myself to throw away something so beautiful, something that inspires a connection to emotions.

Personally, these are some of the things that appeal to me when it comes to packaging:

  • Russian designer Arthur Schreiber designed this beautifully crafted and clever take on packaging that visually reflects the name and concept of the company itself. Incidentally, an American liquor company purchased rights to the conceptual design.

    Texture: I do love to see a package that makes me want to touch it. It can be the actual texture of the paper or material. It can also be a design that gives the illusion of being three dimensional, prompting me to want to touch it to confirm that it’s flat. Our limited edition sculpture-inspired headphone packaging is literally molded into headphones and begs to be touched. That’s the appeal.

  • Conceptual/literal: This is what I would call “clever” concepts. Arthur Schreiber’s design for Samurai vodka would fit into this category. It’s brilliant in that it presents a literal interpretation of the actual company name and, at the same time, embodies the entire concept of a samurai. I’ll not only remember the packaging after I walk away, but I’ll remember the name of the company and the concept behind the name. Henrik Persson’s packaging for a limited edition book about New York City is also a great example of this. This type of packaging might be my favorite. It doesn’t just make me feel something. It also makes me think.

Hiroko Sanders created illustrations for “Perfect Slice of Summer,” a series of boxes for Kleenex.

  • Shape: An unexpected shape in a world of square boxes is another type of packaging that appeals to me. Kleenex did a great job with their summer series called “Perfect Slice of Summer.” The thing I find most appealing is that it is also conceptually relevant, reflecting tones of summer and evoking an emotional reaction about the season. Brilliant.
  • Subtlety: Granted, I’m a minimalist at heart anyway. But sometimes the shelves are glutted with so many items screaming, “Look at me! Look at me!” that they all begin to look the same. And that’s when the one package that stands regal, demurely looking back at me without too much effort…that’s the one I can’t resist.

What kind of packaging speaks to you?

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Velodyne Supports the Community: Music Matters Family Festival

 

The Surf Spot in Pacifica, CA will be holding its first annual Music Matters Family Festival September 23, 2012. 100% of the proceeds will go to Music Matters in Pacifica. MMiP is a new program of the Pacifica Education Foundation that advocates and raises funds to support the instrumental music program for 6th through 8th graders in the Pacifica School District.
 The Surf Spot is hosting performances by The Refugees (Tom Petty Tribute Band), Curt Yagi and The People Standing Behind Me, 5D and Green Room Music. There will be a special guest deejay. Doors open at noon and there is a $5 admission – 100% of the proceeds will be donated to Pacifica’s Music Matters Foundation.We hope you and your families can come out and support children’s music programs, while enjoying the fun  lineup of bands, games, food and drinks! Velodyne has donated a few “swag bags” that Curt Yagi & The People Standing Behind Me will be giving away. You could walk away with a pair of vPulse in-ear headphones that retail at $99!

Good swag for a good cause!

Surf Spot Restaurant. 4627 Coast Highway. http://surfspoteats.com/ For more information on Music Matters in Pacifica visit http://www.musicmattersinpacifica.org/.

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An homage to the best city in the world: Velodyne rocks CE Week in NYC

The view from Avenue nightclub right before the Velodyne party

So, I’ve had a week to shake off the jet lag and catch up on some sleep. Of course, I couldn’t have been happier to attend the CEA LineShow in NYC during CE Week (June 25-29). Typically, shows can be overwhelming and a bit crazy. But this one was small and somewhat relaxed. The attendees are mostly press who live in the area and take the short trip down to Chelsea to the Metropolitan Pavillion. And Chelsea is also where Avenue nightclub is located…and where Velodyne hosted the “Real Music Pure Sound” party.

I was fortunate enough to not only attend the show and the party, but to visit friends and family in my old stomping grounds. Although, I’m a full on California transplant who no longer owns a pair of snow boots or gloves, New York will always be my true home. It made me feel quite nostalgic and I thought this would be a great opportunity to do a mini virtual tour of some of my favorite landmarks in the West Village, where I lived on 9th Street and 6th Avenue.

Former site of The Women's House of Detention

I’ll start with my favorite building in the city, known now as The Jefferson Market Branch, New York Public Library. It may just seem like a pretty brick building sitting on a triangular plot formed by Greenwich Avenue and West 10th Street. But the history of this building is lengthy and rich. It actually served as the New York Women’s House of Detention, a woman’s prison, from 1932-1974. Longtime residents of the West Village will tell you that they used to hear husbands and boyfriends calling up to their wives and girlfriends in the middle of the night. That’s because its unique location gave inmates the opportunity to communicate with people walking by on the street. The New York Women’s House of Detention is believed to have been the world’s first art deco prison. It was designed by Sloan & Robertson in 1931.

This building and site is featured prominently in the 2004 film, House of D, which was David Duchovny’s feature film writing and directorial debut. Check it out.

The Empire State Building, lit up in red and white, as seen through the Washington Square Arch

The Jefferson Market Branch, New York Public Library is located just around the corner from my favorite park in NYC, Washington Square Park. The park itself is also rich in history and home to one of New York’s iconic structures, The Washington Square Arch. This 77 foot marble monument was modeled after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and was erected in 1889 to celebrate the centennial of George Washington’s inauguration.

The iconography of the Arch centers on images of war and peace. An inscription on the attic of the monument contains a quote attributed ot George Washington and reads:

“Let us raise a standard to which the wise and the honest can repair. The event is in the hand of God.”

There are many other notable historic structures and memorabilia, including the Hangman’s Elm, which stands in the northwest corner of the park during the time that Potter’s Field was used for public executions.

Click here to find out more about the rich history of Washington Square Park.

The front of the Washington Square Park Hotel

It only seems fitting to end this mini tour by mentioning the historic hotel me and my colleagues called home during CE Week in NYC. The reason it’s so fitting is because the Washington Square Park Hotel is located on the northwest corner of the park at 103 Waverly Place. This hotel was built in 1902 and recently celebrated its 110th year in business. This quaint and unassuming gem evokes a 1930’s Paris in one of the best locations in New York. I highly recommend a stay here, as well as a tour of the art deco building and interior.

Incidentally, Babbo is right across the street. For those unfamiliar with this restaurant, it’s one of the most famous in the city. It’s considered to be the restaurant that put its owner, Mario Batali, on the map. And for those who don’t like Italian, there’s Cafe Asean right up the road. In my opinion, the best Vietnamese food in the West Village.

I won’t subject you to any more of my indulgent nostalgia. This is the end of my love letter to NYC and the West Village. I’ll see you next year at the end of June.

 

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From The Line Show to the Nightclub: Velodyne in NYC

Velodyne made our debut at the CEA Line show this year. For two days, June 27-28, 2012 we had a booth at the Metropolitan Pavillion in New York City. Everyone’s question for us seemed to be, “What’s new here?” Well, we did have a few new things to share with the world!

We shared two of our one-of-a kind artist series subwoofers that were previously only introduced at the Subzero Festival in San Jose, CA on June 1, 2012. We had a slideshow in the background that demonstrated one of the artist’s subwoofers in process from start to finish. These beauties generated a lot of attention. We had non-stop traffic at our table and everyone wanted to know how they could get their hands on one of them! This is something we are potentially exploring and we were happy to get the “market research” we needed to gauge demand.

We also had the biggest debut of the show….our pink vPulse in-ear headphones which are being promoted by the talented (and beautiful) pop star Kat Deluna. These are not yet available for purchase, so stay tuned for the latest news here at Velodyne!

DJ Francisco Lozano and the hosted cocktails for our special guests got everyone warmed up. Nothing could prepare us for the knockout of the night, The Symphony Crack Orchestra. The combination of the intense violin music of Ashanti Floyd and his rocking band mesmerized everyone!

The Magnificent DJ Jazzy Jeff spun his magic for us for a few hours and got everyone up on their feet. He truly is a legendary DJ, and now the Velodyne team knows why firsthand!

We all had the pleasure of Kat Deluna’s company. She WOWED us all by giving us an exclusive debut of the new single from her forthcoming album ViVa! Everyone was so excited. It truly was the highlight of our night. Her fans are already going crazy for the pink vPulse.

The party continued for several hours, with a mix of celebs, industry people, entourages, execs and fans. A fantastic time was had by everyone in attendance. It truly was an unforgettable evening. It’s fair to say Velodyne rocked CE Week! Until next year!

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Donald Dunn 1941-2012


I’m not going to lie—I had no idea who Donald “Duck” Dunn was until I saw the news story announcing his death. You probably have no idea who he is either. Upon further investigation, I learned that I have been hearing his songs all my life. You probably have been too.

A bass guitarist from Memphis, Tennessee, Dunn was a session musician, playing with Booker T. & the MGs, the Blues Brothers, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, and many others. He lent his bass to The Mar-Keys for “Last Night,” to Otis Redding in “I Can’t Turn You Loose,” to Booker T. & the MGs for “Time is Tight,” and to Rod Stewart in “Tonight’s the Night.”

To pay homage to Duck Dunn’s memory, went on YouTube and found “Time is Tight.” I settled back in my chair to listen, eyes closed. The song began to play, and I started out of my chair. Yes, it was Booker T. & the MGs, but it was almost unrecognizable. The tiny, built-in speakers for my computer were woefully inadequate for Dunn’s complex bass. The sound became distorted, tinny, and hollow. It pulled all the soul out of the music, which horrified me. As a devout music lover, it pains me to hear such soulful music being mangled so carelessly. Turning off the song, I took out my vPulse headphones, plugged them into my computer, and eagerly waited for the beautiful and complex bass to begin. The song immediately came alive and I began to relax as I heard Dunn strumming his bass guitar, each a unique and separate sound, unlike the low, constant hum I heard before.

Donald “Duck” Dunn was a great man and a great bassist. Even in death, he taught me something valuable. A good set of speakers makes all the difference.

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Velodyne subs are the perfect canvas for up-and-coming Northern California artists

Multi-talented visual artist, FORCE 129, brings his vision to our sound

This week begins an exciting new chapter for Velodyne. We currently have some top-secret projects in the works that promise to deliver an innovative mix of audio technology and modern art. And I just got the go ahead to give you a preview of one of these projects.

Velodyne has been collaborating with art gallery Anno Domini to marry the world of audio with the world of art.

Located in San Jose, Anno Domini features exhibitions by renowned international and local artists, as well as up-and-comers in the art world. And we’ve been teaming up with hand-selected artists who are bringing their inspiration and passion to our audio products. These artists will be transferring their style and vision to our subwoofers by custom painting them, turning what has traditionally been a square box into a thing of beauty.

Artist Lacey Bryant explores the subtle tension between the beautiful and the unsettling

The first four of these experimental painted subs will be shown during the SubZERO Festival in San Jose, California. But this is the just the beginning. Get ready to see some incredible custom subs in the coming months, as we bring in artists from all over the world to create limited edition audio works of art. You’ll see a multitude of styles and techniques, from fine art to graffiti art to spray paint.

And we’re not stopping at subwoofers. But that’s one of the other special projects that needs to remain top secret…for the time being, at least

Check out some of the first hand-picked artists featured at the SubZERO Festival:

Lacey Bryant

“As is common in Lacey’s work, there is a subtle tension between beautiful and unsettling elements. Though the settings are usually very light and airy there is a certain heaviness in the atmosphere and a distinct melancholy about the girls with wild hair and confrontational stares. We are presented with things we are uncomfortable with-spiders, holes, crack and decay. This contrast is constructed to create a sense of mystery and mood, enticing the viewer to linger and embrace their own hidden dark sides or even to find the beauty in something that scares us.”

Poesia

“His recent work has transitioned from abstract graffiti towards a more evolved version of his past letter based work. Creating a hybrid style of work that is able to bridge the gallery with the street. Abstract in nature yet structured in letter based form. Poesia’s work explodes with color and form, creating a cryptic version of his wall work. Layers upon layers of paint, Poesia is able to build a deep dialogue between fine art and graffiti with his pieces.”

Force129

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