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The University of Southampton

‘Private’ audio for public spaces stars at International Year of Sound launch

Published: 7 February 2020
Private listening zones
Southampton engineers have created speaker arrays that can create ‘private’ listening zones

Acoustic engineers at the University of Southampton have unveiled a multi-zone loudspeaker system at the opening ceremony for the International Year of Sound in Paris.

Postgraduate researchers Daniel Wallace, Vlad Paul and Willfried Gallian from the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research demonstrated two speaker arrays at the global launch that can create ‘private’ listening zones.

The engineers have worked with the Royal College of Art’s Kevin Walker on the line speaker and 33-speaker cylindrical arrays which blend recordings and synthesised sounds that play dependent upon where the listener is in relation to the unit.

The technology could enable future home audio systems that play different soundtracks to different seats on a sofa or target ‘private’ audio toward people with hearing impairments in public spaces.

The International Year of Sound 2020 opening ceremony was hosted by the International Commission for Acoustics at the Sorbonne Grand Amphitheatre last weekend, launching a series of events and activities that will run throughout 2020 around the world.

Read the full story on the main news page.


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