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Torque Audio Shatters Kickstarter Goal With Customizable Headphones

LOS ANGELES — Unlike a bulk of the start-ups on Kickstarter, this isn’t the first time around the block for Torque Audio.

The company, founded by former Monster engineer Yasu Yamamoto, launched its first pair of modular headphones in 2013. They were well received, Yamamoto told TWICE, but retailers were more interested in product lines, not singletons.

“You can’t have just one product,” said Yamamoto. “The retailers are looking for families.”

With that in mind, he developed the two newest members to the Torque bloodline: the in-ear t096z and the on-ear/over-ear t402v. The in-ear features six different “TorqueValves” that adjust for the shallowness of the user’s ear and adjust the amount of bass depending on the type of music genre the user prefers. The t402v headphones, meanwhile, have magnetically attached ear pads — a set of on-ear and a set of over-ear — that can be rotated to adjust for the amount of desired bass.

The design, from the product to the materials to the marketing, has all been doing with simplicity in mind, Yamamoto stressed. The valves are color coded, and a reference guide is included so consumers can match the colors to their favorite genre.

The suggested retails are expected to be $330 for the t096z and $400 for the t402v. At press time, Torque had more than doubled its $25,000 Kickstarter goal, reaching $50,224 with nine days still left to go.