If there’s one thing you can point to as a constant within the world of technology, it’s change. Time brings with it refinement and improvement. Almost every piece of technology in your life, whether it’s the hammer in your shed or the smartphone in your pocket has changed dramatically over time, becoming the indispensable tool it is today.
The same can be said for the audio-visual technologies in our life. On the audio side, we’ve advanced from speakers which were effectively amplification cones to planar-magnetic speaker technology, from huge over-ear headphones to tiny, in-ear headphones and so much more – all whilst dramatically improving audio quality.
But it’d be foolish to imagine that innovation will stop where we are today. Time waits for no technology, and the future of A/V is just around the corner. At KPMS, we like to think that we know a little about AV. So, in this two-part guide, we’ll be examining what the near-future of A/V technology might look and sound like.
In the first part of this guide we examined the ‘visual’ aspect of audio-visual technology, so in this one, we’ll be touching on the ‘audio’ side of the equation.
Here are our big predictions:
The End of Wires
Although there will always be a subsect of the public who will prioritise the quality and consistency of wired connections in audio reproduction, a much greater share prefers the convenience and comfort of wireless connections.
It’s a trend we can see in the blossoming of the smart and wireless headphone market thanks to the launch of Apple’s AirPods and numerous other, high end, products. Although they require charging and offer a lower audio quality than wired alternatives at a similar price, their convenience remains a huge selling point.
Headphones are just one part of the audio equation though, and wireless speakers which connect up to a single hub are growing in popularity too, enabling much easier and more fluid AV installation, enabling new use cases and more innovative audio experiences.
Binaural audio has been a hot topic in audio circles for some time now thanks to its value in VR applications (a huge part of the AV future), but what is it?
Effectively, binaural audio is audio which is recorded with specialised microphone setups which recreate the way sound bounces off your ear. This audio is then processed in such a way that when it’s played back through standard headphones you experience the recording as though you were in the room. You can experience New York City in 3D sound by wearing headphones and clicking here.
We’re talking about completely 3D sound, so if somebody is talking at your back left, you’ll hear is as though they’re in that position. For businesses and educations, binaural audio offers amazing new teleconferencing and experiences.
Personalised Audio Profiles
Much like how no two people have the same eyesight, no two people have the same hearing. We each have our unique hearing profiles, so why would one-size-fits-all audio solutions make sense?
Personalised audio profiles are here, and they’ll soon mean that everyone gets tailored audio experiences through their favourite headphones.
Via an app, you can test your hearing and develop a custom EQ pre-set which suits perfectly your hearing. Even better? It works with any set of headphones, so everyone can have amazing sounding audio. It’s the kind of futuristic tech which has only been made possible in the modern era.