Matsushita Communication Develops 3-D Sound Technology for Headphones

Matsushita Communication Develops 3-D Sound Technology for Headphones


Panasonic has anounced that it has jointly developed with Kobe University three-dimensional sound reproduction technology for headphones.

This technology allows listeners to enjoy surround sound (5.1 CH) and stereo sound (2 CH) quality reproductions similar to the acoustics heard in home cinema entertainment rooms and movie theaters using ordinary headphones.

While surround sound (5.1 CH) contents are now becoming mainstream thanks to the proliferation of DVDs, surround sound quality reproductions coming from portable devices such as mobile phones, car multimedia systems and PC laptops are difficult to attain without the use of speakers. Until now, placement of the headphone is critical in determining how the sound is transferred. Oftentimes, listeners perceive the sounds heard to be inside their heads or frontal sound source to be above or behind their heads. This makes headphone users fatigued after listening for a long-time.

The new technology corrects changes in sound transfer characteristics that occur in the ear canal when listeners use ordinary headphones, resulting in the same quality sound reproduction as those transmitted by speakers. Since listeners perceive the sound outside their heads, headphone users can listen for a long time without feeling fatigued.

Currently, a prototype system on chip and PC-software has been developed. This technology can be applied in products that use headphones such as mobile and portable AV equipment.