Yamaha Design “Synapses” EPH-200 / EPH-100


In-ear earphones with a pure sound.


Featuring a compact body that utilizes ultra-small speaker drivers in close proximity to the wearer’s inner ear, EPH-200 / EPH-100 earphones allow sound to reach the eardrum without any interference. With a body machined from aluminum, protected from vibration, and themed on the shape of a trumpet piston valve, these earphones possess superb acoustic characteristics. (Slide 1: EPH-200 Slide 2: EPH-100)


Embossed with the Yamaha tuning forks mark, the upper surface of the cylinder has been indented just enough to feel, and features a curve with a radius of just 0.3 mm applied to the edge. Combined with the texture of the aluminum, the end result is a sensation that soon becomes familiar to the fingers. (Slide 1: EPH-200 Slide 2: EPH-100)


Although unseen by the user when worn, when held, the EPH-200 / EPH-100 earphones are like a favorite item of jewelry, gaining their identity from the very materials from which they are made.


We took the view that headphones are "wearable speakers," and approached the design of the EPH-200 / EPH-100 with the idea that such personal ornamentation is not unlike a piece of equipment. This design reflects our awareness of not just the satisfaction felt when wearing these headphones, but of the image presented when the wearer puts them on.

Kenshiro Tanaka (EPH-100)
Kenshiro Tanaka (EPH-100)
Design Holon Inc.

Takenori Ohmachi (EPH-200)
Takenori Ohmachi (EPH-200)
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Earphones played like an instrument.

We see headphones and earphones as being wearable speakers, in that you can fit them to your body.
And, with headphones, the size of the drivers makes their functionality obvious when worn. Conversely, in-ear earphones are inserted into the outer ear canal, making it difficult to guess at the level of performance they provide; a detail that gave rise to our concept of earphones as equipment. Small as they are, the feel of the materials from which they are made gives the EPH-100 earphones the individuality of an item of jewelry.
To give these earphones a truly "made by Yamaha" identity, and make them more than merely an attractive accessory, we designed them around the image of a brass instrument—a pure conduit for sound. Gaining inspiration from the various techniques we had observed in the making of trumpets, we shaped solid aluminum to give the EPH-100 the form of a trumpet piston valve. Brass instruments also provided examples of precision as we worked to machine parts down to tolerances as fine as 1/100 mm. You only have to touch these earphones to understand our intentions in making them.
The very act of inserting the EPH-100 earphones in your ears is a metaphor for the action of playing a trumpet, which is why we would be delighted if doing so gives users the feeling of playing a musical instrument.
The EPH-200 is a new model with the design characteristics of the EPH-100 and a detachable cable. For greater durability, the plastic connection section has been designed to meet the earphone body before the cable connector, and rotation of this section limited to 45 degrees. Additionally, to facilitate cable management that matches the way that a range of different users wear them, we have used a diagonally-cut form for the connection section, and used glossy plastic colors to make it possible to differentiate between the left and right headphones while utilizing a shared design for both.

  • Image of supplemental1

View products with the same design keyword