Father of MP3 discusses revolutionary headphone technology @ CES 2024 - Show Notes

Father of MP3 discusses revolutionary headphone technology @ CES 2024

Wednesday Apr 24, 2024 (00:09:28)


Karlheinz Brandenburg, often referred to as the "father of MP3," is spearheading the development of a groundbreaking headphone technology at Brandenburg Labs, where he serves as CEO and founder.

Revolutionary headphone technology in development

The objective of this innovative project is to produce headphones that deliver a more authentic sound experience. The technology aims to replicate the sensation of sound originating from an external source, as opposed to being confined within the listener's head. This concept, known as plausible reproduction, has been a long-standing aspiration in the audio industry for over half a century. However, progress has been gradual. By integrating room acoustics into the technology, Brandenburg and his team have made substantial strides toward realizing this goal.

The technology was demonstrated at the Venetian on the 29th floor, leaving participants astounded by the realistic sound experience produced by the headphones. Many were incredulous, finding it hard to believe that the sound was emanating from the headphones and not the room's loudspeakers. This breakthrough holds the potential to radically alter our experience of sound in headphones, offering a more immersive and lifelike audio experience.

Brandenburg's system employs a head-related transfer function and room measurements to generate a personalized sound experience for each listener. This technology could be advantageous for mixing studios working on multi-channel content like Dolby Atmos, as well as consumers seeking a more authentic sound experience from their headphones.

Licensing the technology for development

While the technology is currently in the proof of concept stage, Brandenburg envisions a future where this revolutionary headphone technology is accessible to consumers. He is receptive to collaborations with headphone manufacturers to commercialize this technology under the Brandenburg name. Given his successful track record with MP3 technology, Brandenburg is confident in the potential of his headphone technology to significantly influence the audio industry.

The technology is an extension of the work that he did with MP3. That technology was designed to be both a licensable technology and an industry standard. By developing the technology as a standard, it meant that wide adoption was possible. Today, MP3 is one of the primary audio formats that all people interact with on a daily basis. That licensable standard is the goal with this technology, as well.

By making the headphone technology licensable, multiple headphone manufacturers will be able to help bring it to market. And, with variations in the implementation and features surrounding the headphones, these partners would be able to create an entire ecosystem of unique headphones with incredible sound.

Conclusion: A new headphone technology to improve sound

In conclusion, the development of this revolutionary headphone technology by Karlheinz Brandenburg and Brandenburg Labs could potentially transform how we experience sound through headphones. By incorporating room acoustics and personalized sound profiles, this technology promises a more realistic and immersive audio experience for listeners. As Brandenburg continues to work towards commercializing this technology, we can anticipate a new era of headphone technology that pushes the boundaries of what is possible in audio reproduction. To learn more about the technology and its development cycle, head to their website.

Interview by Don Baine, The Gadget Professor.

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Scott Ertz

Episode Author

Scott is a developer who has worked on projects of varying sizes, including all of the PLUGHITZ Corporation properties. He is also known in the gaming world for his time supporting the rhythm game community, through DDRLover and hosting tournaments throughout the Tampa Bay Area. Currently, when he is not working on software projects or hosting F5 Live: Refreshing Technology, Scott can often be found returning to his high school days working with the Foundation for Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST), mentoring teams and helping with ROBOTICON Tampa Bay. He has also helped found a student software learning group, the ASCII Warriors, currently housed at AMRoC Fab Lab.


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