Sennheiser has created what they claim is the world’s first compact and mobile binaural recording headset which they showed at the recent CES 2017 show. What makes the new Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset so interesting is that it is designed to capture immersive 3D audio straight into mobile devices. The binaural audio recordings created with the Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset placing the listener inside the soundscape and playing back the direction of sounds and natural spatial characteristics of a location.
Sennheiser And Apogee Partnership
Sennheiser has partnered with Apogee, for this product. The Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset has two omnidirectional microphones integrated into the earpieces that work alongside a premium A/D converter, mic preamp and SoftLimit from Apogee.
Binaural Not Ambisonics
The two microphones capture the subtle differences in timing, volume and timbre that occur as sounds from different directions reach each ear, that will also make up the binaural recording. This isn't an Ambisonics device, rather it is using the wearer's head and omnidirectional mics placed close to the wearer's own ears to create the binaural recording.
When played back on headphones, the result should be a lifelike audio experience placing the listener in the exact, original sound field, so whether you capture a rainforest or a buzzing city, listening to the binaural recording should make you feel like you are there. Dr. Andreas Sennheiser, co-CEO Sennheiser told us...
With this new headset, you can use your iOS device’s camera to record, experience and relive the same balance of three-dimensional sound and 180° visual perspective that we as human beings are accustomed to in our perception of the world. Sound is crucial to how we understand the space around us, and the Ambeo Smart Headset lets you record this sense of depth, detail and realism.
iOS Only To Start With
The Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset has a Lightning connector and so only supports Apple iOS devices fitted with a Lightning connector. although there are plans for an Android compatible version too.
Recording via the Ambeo Smart Headset is made simple by using standard iOS camera app, letting you record and store binaural audio along with the video. This should make the acquisition of binaural recording for virtual reality projects even easier, all you would need is the Ambeo Smart Headset and an iOS device with a Lightning connector.
A Long History Of Binaural Technology
Sennheiser and Georg Neumann have been supporting binaural recording technology since 1974 with the development of the MKE 2002 “Kopf Stereo Mikrofon” and in 1992 with the KU 100, Dummy Head. Now with the Ambeo Smart Headset Sennheiser continued the binaural developments for a new generation.
Binaural Coming Of Age With Virtual Reality
This is another development that is going to make the acquisition of binaural content for VR much easier. The Ambeo Smart Headset isn't an ambisonics capture device which then requires the B-Format audio to be manipulated into binaural, rather the Ambeo Smart Headset records natively in binaural with its two omnidirectional mics using the head and ears of the wearer.
Price And Availability
There is no information on price and availability currently.