Bionic Hearing

A company called Soundhawk is about to release their product Scoop which is an earpiece that looks similar to a bluetooth headset, but far more powerful. The device is intended to augment your hearing and remove background noise from speech.

The web site engadget.com has a good review article of the product.

For those of you into retro TV series, you may remember The Bionic Woman (a spin-off series from The Six Million Dollar Man), who had a bionic ear to help her hear the quietest sounds.

HALOsonic makes automotive noise cancelling and generating systems

halosonicHARMAN and Lotus Engineering have worked together to create some interesting noise cancellation and generating (!) technology for automotive applications, and marketed under the brand name of HALOsonic. Lotus Engineering have been in the active noise control and sound generation game for a while. They’ve made electronic audio systems to give car driver the impression of a range of customised engine sounds at the push of a button. HALOsonic make audio systems to:

  • cancel engine noise at the cylinder firing frequency,
  • road noise cancelling that uses accelerometers on the suspension system as a reference signal,
  • noise generating system for hybrid cars to alert pedestrians,
  • noise generating systems for passengers to provide a customised engine sound.

Sony’s Vibration Headphones

sony_mdr_xb450bv

Sony have released a pair of headphones, MDR-XB450BV , where presumably the -V means vibration. They have a suggested retail price of $A 130. What makes these headphones interesting is Sony’s claim of a frequency response from 5Hz-22,000Hz – note that humans are not good at detecting sounds below 20Hz, and it is difficult to hear above 16kHz.

Portable Electrostatic Loudspeakers

Benq Trevolo Electrostatic loudspeaker

The Benq company has released a stylish portable electrostatic loudspeaker system called the treVolo. The name treVolo comes from “tre” is the sum of three Es: Electrostatic, Enjoyment and Everywhere and the Italian word “Volo”, which means flight.

The electrostatic panels radiate sound forwards and backwards behind the speaker, which creates a large “sound image”.

The BenQ’s Trevolo electrostatic speaker has a recommended retail price of $399.

 

[ If you are interested in other electrostatic loudspeakers see the In2uit Filo speakers. ]

Creating the sound for the Interstellar movie

The sound for the blockbuster movie Interstellar was recorded using the Dolby Atmos system. If you have a choice, I highly recommend seeing the film in a theatre that has the Atmos sound system. Most of the popular movie sound formats such as THX, DTS, Dolby Digital and now Dolby Atmos play a short jingle before the main movie to highlight the capabilities of their sound system. The jingle for the Dolby Atmos system is no exception, and audiences are amazed by the sound judging by the “wow” ‘s, which has proper surround sound, overhead speakers, and powerful bass notes.

The website Soundworks has a video interview with the sound editors and foley artists that show how they created the amazing sound effects that work brilliantly with the movie.

The movie Gravity won an Oscar for their Atmos mixed sound editing. See another Soundworks video interview about the movie Gravity. I would not be at all surprised if the sound editors for Interstellar win an Oscar.

 

SoundWorks Collection – The Sound of Interstellar from Michael Coleman on Vimeo.

Lagos ban car horns for one day

The Nigerian city of Lagos has banned the use of car horns for one day, or drivers face a £75 fine. “The objective of the day is to reduce noise pollution,” Lagos state government’s transport commissioner, Kayode Opeifa, said. “The exercise will create awareness that horn misuse and abuse is very dangerous to health and the environment.”

Read the article on The Guardian web site.