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SoundBeamer Hits Kickstarter – Are Days Of Headphones Numbered?

Headphone-less private listening is on its way to the masses with Israeli firm Noveto Kickstarting its SoundBeamer 1.0 device, slated for a December release.

Previewed to the press late last year and billed as a “third way of listening”, Noveto’s SoundBeamer technology uses ultrasonic waves to place sounds directly next to a listener’s ears with -20dB attenuation. A 3D sensing module built into the unit can track head position in real time.

This creates a personal 3D audio experience with no need for headphones; a person next to someone using the SoundBeamer will only hear 10 per cent of what they hear, and someone a metre away will hear only a whisper from a video call at normal volume.

According to Noveto, the SoundBeamer 1.0 – now live on crowdfunding site Kickstarter – is a compact desktop device aimed at consumers.

“Pair the SoundBeamer 1.0 via Bluetooth to your computer, tablet, smartphone or tv and start beaming audio straight outside your ears – comfortably and without headphones.

“The SoundBeamer 1.0 is ideal for video conferencing, listening to podcasts, meditation, playing video games and even home fitness,” the company says.

This new technology won’t come cheap, however: the minimum early-bird pledge level to obtain the black SoundBeamer 1.0 is $345 USD ($439 AUD), limited to 500 backers. The full price – which comes with a limited edition Noveto chip encased in glass – is $595 USD ($757 AUD), while the limited-edition Arctic White SoundBeamer, of which only 100 will be released, will set you back $995 USD ($1264 AUD).

At time of writing, the SoundBeamer 1.0 has attracted $66,154 AUD of its $222,176 AUD goal, with 25 days to go.

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