“Sound Scope Headphones” by Hamanaka and Lee

  • ©Masatoshi Hamanaka and SuengHee Lee

  • ©Masatoshi Hamanaka and SuengHee Lee



Entry Number: 21


    Sound Scope Headphones



    We designed the Sound Scope Headphones so that they would let users control an audio mixer through natural movements, and thus enable a musical novice to separately listen to each player’s performance. The main advantage of the headphones is that they detect natural movement, such as head movement or placing a hand behind an ear, and uses the detected movements to control an audio mixer while the user listens to music. Three sensors are mounted on the headphones: a digital compass, a tilt sensor, and a distance sensor (Figure 1).

    Previously reported headphones with sensors to detect the direction the user is facing or the location of the head can escalate the musical presence and create a realistic impression, but do not control the volumes and panpots of each part according to the user’s wishes [Warusfel and Eckel ; Wu et al. ; Goudeseune and Kaczmarski ]. With these headphones, it is difficult to clearly hear a particular part from among many other parts, including some that the user would prefer not to hear.

    In contrast, our headphones let a user listening to music scope a particular part that he or she wants to hear. For example, when listening to jazz, one might want to clearly hear the guitar or reduce the sound of the sax. By moving your head left or right, you can hear from a frontal position. By looking up or down, you can better hear the parts allocated to a more distant or a closer position. By simply putting your hand behind your ear, you can adjust the distance sensor on the headphones and focus on a particular part you want to hear (http://music.iit.tsukuba.ac.jp/hamanaka/SSH.mpg).

Other Information:


    GOUDESEUNE, C., AND KACZMARSKI, H. Composing outdoor augmented-reality sound environments. In In Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference.

    WARUSFEL, O., AND ECKEL, G. Listen – augmenting everyday environments through interactive soundscapes. In In Proceedings of IEEE Workshop on VR for public consumption.

    WU, J., DUH, C., OUHYOUNG, M., AND WU, J. Head motion and latency compensation on localization of 3d sound in virtual reality. In In Proceedings of the ACM symposium on Virtual reality software and technology.


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