Over a year after its announcement, the 8ball microphone from Hear360 is finally launching. The 2500 USD multi-channel recording tool has eight capsules (all in all) on the left and right, positioned as to mimic human hearing. Feeding the signal to Hear360’s proprietary plug-in in your DAW is accomplished via a breakout cable with 8 XLR connectors. Serious business, folks!
The Hear360 microphone’s frequency response is between 20Hz to 20kHz at a maximum sound pressure level of 130dB – that’s concert/rehearsal level. With an 8ball, it seems possible to create multi-channel recordings of a live concert with a single microphone – though we suspect isolated miking will still rule when it comes to making demos or more elaborate productions. Its main focus, though, seems to be VR applications and immersive film-making.
While the price may seem steep, one should bear in mind that there are single condenser microphones that cost quite a bit more. With its 8 capsules and 360-degree recording, we’d say the 8ball is a decent deal. As a piece of forward-thinking technology, it could cost a fair bit more and probably still sell.
However, the bundled software is locked with an iLok dongle, which doesn’t make a lot of sense – after all, you need the microphone to be able to use it in its full capability. Strange decision, but hey, that’s the way the grass grows.
More information about the Hear360 8ball microphone array can be found on this page. And here’s a video! What do you think?