Music

MicW demonstrates binaural microphone for creating 3D audio

MicW demonstrates binaural mic...
The i3DMic, from China's MicW, does a great job of creating 3D sound recordings (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)
The i3DMic, from China's MicW, does a great job of creating 3D sound recordings (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)
View 2 Images
The i3DMic, from China's MicW, does a great job of creating 3D sound recordings (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)
1/2
The i3DMic, from China's MicW, does a great job of creating 3D sound recordings (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)
The i3DMic will launch in America in March (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)
2/2
The i3DMic will launch in America in March (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)

Remember that wonderful virtual barbershop audio track that made you feel like you were in the room with the barber? Here's a microphone setup that could allow you to create a similar effect. Beijing-based microphone manufacturer MicW has demonstrated a new 3D binaural microphone setup at NAMM 2015.

Fitted to a set of headphones or stuck to the sides of a fake head, these twin electret condenser mics record sound in a way that closely simulates the human binaural hearing sense that allows us to pinpoint sounds as they move up, down and around us in 3D space.

Binaural microphones can create a wonderful spatial sensation for listeners wearing headphones – just ask the ASMR crowd, who frequently use such techniques to create a pleasurable, intimate and relaxing soundscape for their viewers.

The i3DMic will launch in America in March (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)
The i3DMic will launch in America in March (Photo: Loz Blain/Gizmag)

The MicW i3DMic is a simple twin-microphone setup that's specifically designed to create a binaural sense of space that puts listeners right in the middle of a room, and does a great job of separating sounds out to create a stereo image of a room. Watching a short test video which is not yet online, I was able to close my eyes and follow as a guy shook a maraca and moved around me in the room. I could even clearly tell when he lifted it up or lowered it down – the sensation was quite uncanny.

The i3DMic will launch in America in March. Coupled with a pair of high-end headphones, it'll cost US$899. The mic pads by themselves will retail for $199. It's BYO GoPro if you want to create a setup like in our lead photo.

Product page: MicW Audio

2 comments
DARB
Cool stuff this Binaural, but not really new. www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzZX5V8gCAs
warren52nz
I remember seeing this technology in the 1970s. It was German I think and they called it Kunstkopf. Just found it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dxFJu7nN_YM