These crazy HyperSound speakers aren’t available to buy just yet, but Turtle Beach have just unveiled them in LA at the 2016 Electronics Entertainment Expo to generate interest in the technology. Well, we’re certainly interested. These are the first speakers that we know of, to be made from glass and deliver sound in a directional beam. The video below is quite something. However, what are the real world applications and can we expect to see them appear in pro audio?
Turtle Beach have already been developing speakers that produce directional beams of sound via ultrasound on flat pieces of material. They’ve recently discovered, however, that they can apply this method using panes of glass, potentially opening up new opportunities.
Currently, Turtle Beach manufacture systems for commercial applications such as visitor information points or the hard-of-hearing. With the directional properties of this technology they can focus sound to a particular location in a room. This allows someone who finds it hard to hear the TV, for example, have loud enough without disturbing anyone. This is really exciting as the possible benefits of this tech are tremendous. Effectively they could replace the need for headphones in many scenarios such as public transport or tourist attractions.
With the tech being made possible with glass, this opens up the potential uses of this weird and wonderful tech. If they continue R&D, it could be found on the front of TV’s, mobile phones, arcade games or even as the glass on a car dashboard giving the driver specific notifications that the other passengers don’t need to hear.
Do I think we’ll see these speakers in the studio one day? Well, no. It would be great if they can manufacture something with directional sound for noise pollution reasons and certain recording environments, but the science doesn’t quite stack up for me. I understand and believe these types of speakers to have a very limited bandwidth, but the idea is very cool. You never know, they are a long way off bringing this to market and there’s time for further research to be done.
Check out this rather impressive video from the HyperSound YouTube channel, it demonstrates the directivity capable from these strange looking speakers.