Directing Music To Your Ears Is Now A Reality With Soundlazer’s Hanging Speakers

Posted: Jun 2 2016, 11:25am CDT | by , Updated: Jun 2 2016, 9:47pm CDT, in Technology News


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Directing Music To Your Ears Is Now A Reality With Soundlazer’s Hanging Speakers

Surrounding yourself with music is of no consequence if disturbing someone else is not a worry, otherwise it becomes an issue and using closed back headphones turn out to be the only other option, albeit an uncomfortable one for longer periods of use. Richard Haberkern’s new Soundlazer VR directional speakers are a solution to this with their promise of a “high fidelity, focused cloud of sound that others can't hear”.

They hang overhead similar to a light fixture and direct sound to the targeted listener. Sound has been of interest to Haberkern for quite some time with him directing sound at precise points for some years now. His 2012 campaign to start production for his Soundlazer SL-01 was a success. He followed this up with a barebones Snap system in 2014. Both the devices share the use of ultrasonic audio delivery.

However the frequency range for this falls short while watching TV or playing video games. Therefore the past three years have been devoted by Haberkern to develop a higher fidelity planar wave technology. The Soundlazer VR operates by the use of its patent pending planar array stereo drivers which are set into a single piece of CNC routed woods, originally like a row of small speakers each releasing a small measure of sound. The released sound is reflected off a transparent acrylic linear parabolic reflector and aimed towards the ears of the listener beneath.

It has a focus point of 2 to 4 feet (60 - 120 cm) below the unit and has a reported audio frequency response of 150 Hz to 20 kHz. The system is unable to reproduce lower frequencies as they can’t be controlled according to a linear fashion. Therefore it is unable to produce sound at lower frequencies which is not an issue as “lower frequency sound reproduction is not necessary for an enjoyable experience." Otherwise Soundlazer fulfills the expectations of a clear, crisp and personal audio. The planner array takes direction by two channels, 15 W amplifier and audio is streamed to the Soundlazer VR over Bluetooth and the hanging cables also serve to feed power to circuitry.

The VR measures 18 or 24 inches in length and 10.2 inches in width. The 18 inch unit weighs in at 3.3 lb. (1.5kg) while its 24 inch counterpart weighs in at 4.6 lb. (2.1kg). Even though the Soundlazer VR system promises listeners the experience of surrounding yourself in a personal sound zone, some sound may escape if you really turn up the volume. But Haberkern assures that this background noise is not enough to cause distraction in the vicinity and promises that your colleagues or housemates won’t actually know how loud the music really is.

Although if the noise in the room is annoying you, you have the option of masking it with your own calming sounds through the system. A desktop model called the Junior, made by Soundlazer is also available. It has similar driver technology to the overhead units but differs in dimensions. The difference of dimensions is of 10 x 5 x 6.3 in (25.4 x 12.7 x 16 cm) of and weighs in at 2.6 lb. (1.2 kg). Soundlazer has approached Kickstarter to bring the new model to the market just like it did with the previous project. The VR Junior costs US$169, with the full sized VR unit costing $209. Shipping should start in October if all goes according to the plan.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/32" rel="author">Ahmed Humayun</a>
Ahmed Humayun is a technology journalist bringing you the hottest tech stories of the day.




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