[Design Story] Joy of Listening: Sound Design at SamsungShare open/close
The song of a bird just outside the window, her voice from the other side of the phone, the familiar humming of a loved one… our day to day is filled with sounds that reverberate in our hearts and minds. When we hear those sounds again, no matter how long time has lapsed, we are flooded with memories.
The sound of an air conditioner, an oven turning on, the ring of a smartphone… all of these digital sounds also become a part of your daily routine and naturally a part of your memory. We here at Samsung Electronics also consider acoustic resonance as an important factor of the user experience, as such our products are imbued with a distinct sound.
Come join us on a familiar path where we focus on the sound of our products.
* This content is better experienced with earphones or speaker.
Samsung Brand Sound
The theme of Samsung Electronics’ products can be summed up as ‘Over the Horizon’ for mobile devices and ‘Beyond the Horizon’ for home appliances – looking toward the challenges of the future with passion and anticipation. Although the melody may sound different the nuances of both share a subtle similarity. Both are neutral and positive attitude while retaining a medium tempo with 4 to 6 melodies.
These two simple melodies carry a long way, especially when applied to our products. Let’s look at a few examples.
Over the Horizon
Over the Horizon has been the sound for Samsung Electronic mobile devices since 2012 for a better future in our daily life. It’s used for the Default Ringtone, Message Tone, Advertisements, Music Videos and other various media. We’ve also collaborated with musicians to expand this melody in diverse ways.
Samsung Galaxy S7
As the smartphone is probably the most used and closely kept device ever developed, it is vital that even the smallest functions have a corresponding sound and synchronize with the UX design principles.
The Swedish band Dirty Loops remixed the Over the Horizon melody for the Galaxy S7 and is used as the default ringtone.
As this function is used most often it should be quick and simple, yet clearly distinguishable. A distinct metallic sound was chosen to convey the precision of the device.
To continue the identity of Samsung cameras into the smartphone, an actual analogue camera shutter was sampled and edited for a consistent sound across all devices, from analogue cameras, digital cameras and mobile devices.
The sound of plastic as it’s pulled from a money clip is the motif developed for the sound when you activate Samsung Pay. It’s meant to evoke the feel of paying with an actual credit card. In line with this, when you swipe through your cards on the app it mimics plastic hitting plastic for a familiar yet new experience.
As left and right components are completely divided and sound is provided in stereo, also the fact that there are no buttons or a screen to access, this device required a totally new approach in user experience: The Invisible Audio Menu.
Wear on Sound
As both right and left ear buds operate independently, each ear receives a small ping to signal activation.
A delayed ping is volleyed back and forth to signal that both ear buds are connected and in synch.
AUI(Auditory User Interface) distinguishes high and low volume for suitable control.
Invisible Audio Menu Guide
When you tap & hold, the menu is read out loud with an AUI sound that signals for you to let go to start that menu.
Beyond the Horizon
Beyond the Horizon has been our signature brand melody for home appliances since 2015. It represents positivity and unlimited possibilities in ascending melody.
The windless air conditioner echoes a wind chime when it starts up or is controlled for a clear, refreshing sound to compliment the cool air coming forth.
Power On/Off Sound
The Beyond the Horizon melody is differentiated when you turn on or off the air conditioner. Other details are the melody is precisely synched to the vents opening sequence.
Temperature Control Sound
This helps you to distinguish whether you’re setting the room temperature up or down.
For this appliance, we analyzed the different functions into two categories; power, error, timer functions that apply to the entire product range and specific functions that are unique to each individual product such as partition activation/ deactivation, cook done. By doing this, each product is connected by a unified sound but also is uniquely identified.
Power On Sound
Even without high definition speakers, the Beyond the Horizon sounds simple and direct.
Buzzer & Speaker Sound
The buzzer key has been raised one octave and together with the SPK version can be heard and distinguishable in any environment.
Door Open Sound
The door open alarm sounds 2 minutes after the door is kept open. Rather than a high-pitch alarm a less harsh melody set (ti-mi-fa#) was chosen for a more considerate sound alarm.
Each of Us Have a Unique Voice
No two are the same. Likewise, a brand should have its own unique acoustics. The sonic experience with a brand is a vital asset and an intricate part of the total brand experience.
Here at Samsung Electronics, we take great care to ensure that the sound you hear from our products is clear, audible and consistent with the other elements of our products and services we provide to you. Even the most fleeting sound bites have been evaluated many time over to create a fun yet memorable brand experience.