Yamaha Design “Synapses” sonogenic SHS-500/SHS-300

2019 / KEYTAR

Red Dot Award
iF Design Award
German Design Award
Design for Asia Award

Keytar equipped with Jam Function.


The Sonogenic series allows anyone to play their favorite songs immediately with the Jam Function. With sporty coloring, the SHS-500 is perfect with active performances both at home and on stage, while the SHS-300 has more of the air of a gadget that is easy to use anywhere.


We arranged all necessary information from two separate perspectives, that of the audience, and that of the player. The layout is designed to fit how the instrument is used, with printing on the inside of the neck and a display facing the performer on the SHS-500, and text engraved on the facing side of the lower case in the SHS-300.


The SHS-500 features a cross-sectionally rounded-off body that is easy to hold and play with both hands, combined a neck angle that makes it easy to slide your fingers along it. Even beginners will find it easy to play, and advanced players can achieve even more active performances.


The SHS-300 features a compact and lightweight body with a large diameter upward-facing speaker, so you can deliver powerful performances anywhere without having to connect to an amplifier. By adding protrusions to the underside of the body, we made it possible to play the instrument as a keytar or to place it on a tabletop for stability.

Yurii Kasao
Yurii Kasao
Yamaha Design Laboratory

Kazuki Kashiwase
Kazuki Kashiwase
Yamaha Design Laboratory

An item designed for anyone to enjoy playing intuitively.

The SHS-500 and SHS-300 make up the Sonogenic series of keytars, which is characterized by the ability to perform simply by creating rhythms.
In the past, practice and improvement was commonly needed in order know the joy of playing a musical instrument for the first time. We added a Jam Function to the Sonogenic series, which links a dedicated smartphone app to the keyboard, allowing you instantly play a session with your favorite song just by pressing the keys to match the song.

Our goal was to create a simple, casual and accessible design so that even people who had never played a musical instrument before would pick it up.
The SHS-500 boasts a body shape that allows a wide range of performance, and also comes in sporty red and black colors in the hopes that keyboard beginners will want to casually adopt it as a part of their fashion as well, like a skateboard. The color options for the SHS-300 include a blue color that is uncommon for keyboards, enhancing the “gadget-like” aspect of its image as a keyboard. The shape of a body that combines a cornered top and rounded bottom, giving it both crisp look and a comfortable fit. In addition, to allow more people to enjoy playing, effects are controlled with buttons placed from the end of the neck in order of typical usage frequency during performance. I believe that we were able to give the buttons more pop by making them round and devising them to light up with LEDs.

The Sonogenic series are musical instruments that also possess a gadget-like aspect. I would be delighted if people will pick one up and come to know the joy of musical performance, even if they have never played an instrument before. I hope that creativity hidden within you will blossom, inspiring all-new performances and ways of playing.

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