Mark Thompson
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Beats By Dre

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We took a look a how Beats By Dre could help combat a growing public health issue.



Build a disruptor.


Preventable hearing loss is on the rise for people under the age of 18.


People put more energy and thought into what they’re listening to, than how they’re listening to it.


Bring attention to unsafe hearing habits in an unobtrusive way.


Change the way you listen without changing the way you listen.


Keep reading for extended strategy or...




1 in 5 teens has some form of hearing loss - a rate about 30% higher than it was in the 1980s and 1990s. (AMERICAN OSTEOPATHIC ASSOCIATiON)

60% of childhood hearing loss is due to preventable causes (WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION)

13% of children UNDEr 19 have permanent hearing damage due to exposure to excessive noise. (CENTERs FOR DIsease Control and prevention)


People turn up the volume of the media they’re listening to in order to drown out the sounds around them without regard for their own safety. Many experts believe this rise in hearing loss is due, in part, to the increased use of in-ear headphones.

Since hearing loss develops slowly over time, it is often addressed when it is too late to prevent damage. Without frequent testing and awareness it is easy to form unsafe listening habits. Bringing attention to these habits is the first step to correcting this issue.




Most in-ear headphones can reach a volume of 120 dB. At that volume, hearing loss can occur after about an hour and 15 minutes. However, volume isn’t the only factor to consider when it it comes to hearing loss. The duration of exposure is also a major factor.

Many experts recommend following the 60/60 rule when using in-ear headphones - listen at 60% volume for a maximum of 60 minutes a day.




1. Young people are at the greatest risk for preventable hearing loss.  

2. Listeners are not aware of what is and isn’t considered an unsafe listening habit.




People put more energy and thought into what they’re listening to, than how they’re listening to it.



This behavior is causing greater hearing damage among people under 18 than in years past.


Change the way you listen without changing the way you listen






The reason we chose Beats wasn’t simply because they’re a premier headphone company, but more importantly because they’re owned by Apple. They have made tracking fitness and health a priority with products like the Apple Watch and the Health app, an the next logical step is to extend this to hearing health. Audiologists have been shouting the science behind what we can do to prevent hearing loss for years, and integrating these small changes within Apple’s ecosystem brings attention to the problem in an unobtrusive way.




A Hearing tile has been added to the Health app dashboard where users can easily track their total daily time spent listening with headphones and time spent listening above 60% volume.

Within the Health app there will now be an option to take a simple hearing test on your device.

Outside of the Health app, songs will stored on the device will automatically be equalized to the same volume. This update will also include alerts when listening at unsafe volumes and when listening for unsafe durations of time.



Noise cancelling headphones allow the listener to drown out the outside world at a lower volume compared to non-noise cancelling headphones.

Beats will introduce their first noise cancelling in-ear headphones in a unique color gradient that compliments their current colorful product lineup while also standing out.




Drawing inspiration from trusted hearing test practices we chose to hack Instagram stories to add our Beats By Dre version of a hearing test. Each ear is tested with a nearly silent sound clip while the other is exposed to a louder stimuli.

Tapping through the story will take the viewer through a fun hearing test that will let them evaluate each ear and then swipe up to microsite to take a full test and introduce the in-ear noise cancelling headphones.

Watch the video to give it a try!


Copywriter: Brian Marcolini
Art Director: Eddy Allen
Experience Designer: Harding Coughter
Strategist: Melissa Jackson
Creative Brand Manager: Jenn Root