Lucie Loves... Tech // Exploring the immersive sights and sounds of London with Sennheiser's binaural 3D AMBEO Smart Headset [Ad]
Post in partnership with Sennheiser
Sennheiser invited the lucie loves team, and a group of other tech and lifestyle influencers – Youtuber ben morris, amber doig-thorne, sug-sean webster and Twist & Pulse, to join them on their personalised routemaster red tour bus. to put the ambeo smart headset to the test, We explored several central London hotspots – all with varying soundscapes.
It all began at the foot of the London Eye, where we were handed our very own headsets and given a quick briefing and lesson in how to get the most out of the product.
With a background in video and audio production, I was familiar with the concept of binaural sound. But for those of you still wondering...
Q. What is binaural sound?
A. The practice of positioning two microphones where the human ears would be, recording the surroundings and playing back through a stereo mix.
Q. Why would people want to record binaural sound?
A. All of this results in the spacial soundscape of the human hearing, which would usually be something that demanded a professional setup, however now with the AMBEO…hitting the market, consumers can record their own audio experiences simply by wearing a headset during video or audio recording.
Having unboxed and experienced some of the demo soundscapes fed to us by the Sennheiser team, we were then tasked with recording the buzz of Piccadilly Circus, which was our first stop along the tour.
What you first notice when setting the headset to Transparent Hearing mode, is the heightened awareness of human hearing but amplified. I’m hesitant to say super human hearing but what you experience is clarity beyond your normal hearing. The ears and brain usually filter and compress frequencies, whereas this headset enhances your surroundings.
What you then notice is the location of certain sound sources. As I faced the big screens at Piccadilly Circus, I was able to accurately locate passing traffic and people talking, either from my left or right side. This may seem like everything you would experience without the headset but the advantage is that everything you hear and record is exactly how it will play back, including on any set of stereo headphones. The beauty is you don’t need your audience to have this headset to experience what you did, although they may wish they were there.
Moving on from the hustle and bustle of Piccadilly Circus we were transported to a quiet park where awaited us two acoustic guitarist, gently plucking some tranquil tones. This was a chance to test the AMBEO’s ability to record complex frequencies and tones as well as pick up on something subtler.
Using the amplified mode made for more sensitive recording, and as the guitarist circled me, I was able to remain in one position and capture perfectly the chords and notes from 360 degrees, or if you will, a 3D soundscape. Even with the wind blowing, the microphones held up well, with built in wind reduction adding simply the awareness of being outside, rather than ruining the audio recording.
With just these two situations I was convinced that the Sennheiser AMBEO smart headset was able to record sound binaurally with such ease that the least tech savvy people out there would have no issues getting good results.
Q. Where would this sort of tech be used?
I can see advantages in virtual reality, 360 video/stills, immersive gaming/films, anything which demanded audio being lifted from standard mono/stereo. It's sure to be big with Instagramers, Vloggers, Podcasters and Bloggers wishing to add an extra something to their sound.
Binaural recording and playback has its place but when it demands, the AMBEO headset truly delivers.
Words/Photos/Video ~ Kyle Cruise