3Dio Binaural Microphones

3dio binaural microphones

3Dio Binaural Microphones

When thinking of Binaural microphones, we tend to visualise the classic ‘Dummy head.’ You know, the ones that look like a mannequins head and are typically in an anechoic chamber or concert hall!

Whilst these sound great and are used to produce brilliant Binuaral audio, they aren’t exactly practical for every day productions (we doubt you’d get a camera operator to put one on their camera and carry it around!). Which is where 3Dio Binaural Microphones come in.

3Dio Binaural microphones have removed the ‘Head’ section making them small and light enough to fit on top of a DSLR and other film cameras ~ making it perfect for 1st person shooting and capturing a realistic Binaural soundscape when out and about.

With the improvement and affordability of VR technology, both viewers and creators can use VR (and AR) like never before. It won’t be long before we see immersive and VR media content as a mainstream platform. We think companies like 3Dio will have a part to play in this!

Have a listen: (please wear headphones)

3Dio offer a range of binaural microphones from the entry level Free Space Binaural Mic to the Free Space Pro II mic.

At a glance –

3Dio Free Space Binaural Microphone

  • Frequency range – 100Hz – 10kHz
  • Matched Primo EM172 hi-sensitivity capsules
  • 9V alkaline battery within the chassis
  • 3.5mm Balanced Jack output

3Dio Free Space XLR Binaural Microphone

  • Frequency range – 100Hz – 10kHz
  • Matched Primo EM172 hi-sensitivity capsules
  • 9V alkaline battery within the chassis
  • XLR Outputs – Phantom Powered

3Dio Free Space Pro II BinauralMicrophone

  • Frequency range – 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Matched DPA 4060 Hi Sensitivity Capsules
  • 9V alkaline battery within the chassis
  • XLR Outputs – Phantom Powered

How Binaural works
Sound can originate from any direction. Above us, below us, in front or behind, left or right or any combination of these. The shape of the human ear has evolved over time, allowing us to pinpoint not only the location of sounds, but distance as well. Our brains have been trained our entire lives to know where sounds are coming from.

Because the 3Dio FS microphones are shaped like a human ear, they use the same three primary methods of localization that our ears do:

Spectral Filtering
The ears of the microphone transform a sound’s frequencies in unique ways depending on the elevation or the front/back relationship of the sound relative to the listener. This is called spectral filtering. Sounds bounce off the outer ear (pinnae) and change the way sound waves enter the ear canal. These transformations of a sound’s frequencies are what allow us to determine the elevation or the front/back location of the sound source. As a sound changes elevation, the way in which the sound reflects off the pinnae changes as well, and this change is recognised by our brains to let us know whether a sound is going up or down. The same thing happens when a sound is either in front or behind us. Sound waves coming from behind us are slightly attenuated and enter our ears differently than if the sound was coming from in front of us.

Interaural Time Difference (ITD)
The distance between the ears of the 3Dio FS microphones are similar to the average width of the human head. The reason this is important is because sound waves coming from the left or right arrive in each ear at slightly different times. This time difference is incredibly small as sounds waves travel at about 340 meters per second. However, our brains are impressively able to identify this difference and use it to determine the direction a sound is coming from. For example, if a sound comes from the right of where we are facing, the sound wave enters our right ear a fraction of a second before it enters our left ear. If the distance between the ears of the microphone were smaller than the average width of the human head, the ITD would be smaller and thus our brains would have a tougher time identifying the left or right location because we have experienced roughly the same ITD our entire lives.

Interaural Level Differences (ILD)
In conjunction with ITD, there are differences in the volume of a sound depending on which direction it is coming from. For example, a sound coming from our right will be slightly quieter in our left ear because our head shadows the sound from directly entering our left ear. This shadowing causes an interaural level difference, or ILD.  The further the sound wave must travel, the less intensity (or volume) it has. This ILD also helps our brains identify the location of a sound.

If you’d like to find out more about the 3Dio range and or Binaural recording. Please get in touch – sales@raycom.co.uk


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