For just $160, you could have realistic 3D surround sound you can take anywhere. At least that’s the pitch for Neoh, a new headphone project launched by 3D Sound Labs today on Kickstarter. Using software, sensors, and even a gyroscope, the Neoh headphones aim to deliver the sort of spatial surround sound you get from a home theater, wrapped up in a package you can pocket.
Striking a futuristic design that would look right at home in a scene from Minority Report, these octagonal headphones are outfitted with a serious stable of technology. The headphones use Bluetooth low energy to wirelessly connect to your mobile device, and incorporate a specialized app designed to “deliver a high quality stream of spatially reconstructed audio.” In theory, the delivery method for the virtual surround feed looks similar to the Headphone:X software from DTS, which uses proprietary processing to create a surround sound effect over standard stereo headphones.
But the Neoh headphones don’t stop there. In addition to software, the cans incorporate a 9-axis motion sensor system, including an accelerometer, a gyroscope, and a magnetometer. The system is designed to completely encapsulate your head inside a virtual sonic landscape, pinpointing your location as if you were surrounded by speakers. Move your head to the right, and the headphones adapt the algorithm to reconstruct the sound, virtually accounting for the movement and adjusting the sound accordingly.
In this way, 3D Sound Labs hopes to create a 3D experience which could be described as the audio version of the Occulus Rift VR headset, completely immersing you in a sound that mimics what you hear in the real world. With the Neoh app and Neoh headphones working in tandem, the company promises a “totally new kind of audio experience.”
Of course, that’s a lot to promise on a $160 pledge. Still, the Neoh technology is intriguing enough that we’re interested in giving these headphones a go for ourselves. We were impressed with our ears-on experience with DTS Headphone:X, but the technology has been extremely slow to get to market. With the addition of motion sensor technology, could Neoh offer something even more immersive that will actually be available en masse, or is this just more Kickstarter hype?
You can find out for yourself, and dig up more details while you’re at it, by checking out the Neoh’s Kickstarter page. If you’re convinced, you can pledge your $160 early bird order, and help take Neoh’s vision of a portable 3D sonic world from dream to reality.