In September, audio equipment company Sennheiser announced it was working with mixed reality (MR) company Magic Leap to bring spatial audio to the Magic Leap headset. Now the two companies have revealed the first product to come from this partnership – the AMBEO AR One in-ear headphones.
Sennheiser’s AMBEO technology I said to work like an audio version of augmented reality (AR) in that it allows real-world sounds to be blended in to the sound from the headphones, a development that Sennheiser refers to as ‘Transparent Hearing’.
The blending of virtual 3D sound with real-world acoustics is made possible as a configurable extension of Sennheiser’s existing active noise cancellation technology, which is usually used in headphones to eliminate outside noise.
The new in-ear headphones are described as: “The first spatial listening accessory to receive official certification by Magic Leap.” indicating that the headphones have been specifically designed to complement the mixed reality experiences available on the Magic Leap One headset.
The headphones are also said to feature deep bass, and offering a complete seal provided by Sennheiser’s ‘Comply’ ear tips. The headphones interface with the Magic Leap One via standard 3.5mm audio jack.
Developers are said to be able to specify how much outside sound will be mixed into the user’s experience. External sound is captured by the headset built-in microphones, and then blends in to the spatial audio experience.
Sennheiser is also launching a companion app, called AMBEO Augment Audio Lab, which is designed to provide users will control over the audio experience, described the by the company as providing: “Full control over their sound world, [empowering] developers and creators to craft powerful spatial computing experiences in which real sounds seamlessly blend with virtual audio.”
The AMBEO AR One is planned to be available for sale sometime during November, 2018 through the Magic Leap website in the USA, priced at $250 (USD). For future coverage on Magic Leap and Sennheiser AR audio, keep checking back with VRFocus.