15 April 2002

3D sound

I gave in to temptation and got a set of binaural microphones. I’ve just been in Harvard Square recording ambient noise.

Binaural recording is designed for headphones. Traditionally, it required an artificial head with acoustic properties similar to a human head, with two omnidirectional microphones inside. Nowadays, reasonable quality microphone units can be made a lot smaller. My binaural mics use a real head—mine. They fit inside my ears, like in-ear headphones.

The advantage of binaural over stereo is that you get a full three-dimensional stereo image when you listen on headphones. You can actually hear whether sounds are in front of you or behind you. Reverberation echoes in large rooms are stunning. Right now I’m listening to the red line pull into the station…

© mathew 2017