What’s Two Way Communication?

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Two-way communication is actually a process through which two parties communicate with one another in a reciprocal manner. Basically, it is something that lets you know that the other person has listened and understood you just perfect. Sometimes, it can also can also be referred to as a form of public relations process where a company and another group share ideas. Here is a detailed description of two-way communication and its applications in the field of business.

The Model

Two-way communication involves an individual or group expressing an idea, which is then received and comprehended by any other group or individual. The message is processed by the receiver who then returns with a message. This message is further received by the first sender, thereby letting both parties to communicate with each other and understand the ideas.

The detailed two-way communication model comprises of several specific steps. The first step is to create an idea that a party wants to deliver. The mode of transmission is chosen by the sender to organise symbols and words for transmission. Then the message is transmitted via the selected method. The next step is about allowing the other party to receive a message, that also transfers the initiative to the receiver. Further, the receiver decodes the message to understood it exactly how it was meant to be according to the sender. Some employers tend to ignore this when providing instructions and assume that telling someone is enough. But it is important to realize that communication is ineffective until there is proper understanding. The last step is the use of the message or communication by the receiver who may discard it, complete the job as directed, save the information etc.

Modes and Applications

People and organisations engage in two-way communication in several different ways through a variety of modes and devices. One of them is face-to-face contact which involves two or more people gathering within the same space and talking to each other directly, thereby allowing for the greatest or best possible communication ranges ensuring the perfect transmission of verbal or non-verbal signals. Another very effective mode is telephone that also lets the voice tone and inflection to help in communication to the meaning of the message. Written formats, whether letters, text messages or emails, can also prove to be quite effective, but usually they lack the nuance and subtlety often found in verbal modes of communication.

When it comes to the features and parameters associated with two-way communication systems, the list ranges greatly from basic hand held two-way transceivers using an individual channel to the very complex systems enabling the sharing of different channels between a large number of users. A number of elements such as geographical location, frequency band, system costs, number of people involved and purpose of communication work as the deciding factor while selecting the type of system. A very essential feature for all types of two-way communication systems is the compatibility and co-ordination of each and every component.

Two-way communication systems have always been used by a large number of businesses for staying connected with their staff or employees while working inside or outside the office premises. Some spheres that use two-way communication regularly are mass communication, public transportation, construction businesses, aviation, advertisement, security, marketing and several others. Police department, fire personnel and emergency response teams also use the two-way communication systems such as telephone, computerized dispatches or radio that allows the professionals to stay informed and updated about the activities of their teams or employees.

Types of Two-Way Communication

When it comes to public relations or marketing, two-way communication basically involves two types of processes – Asymmetric communications and Symmetric communications.

Asymmetric communication takes place between two parties with one of them usually holding more control or power over the process. Typically, this happens in case of a huge company that engages in Public Relations to communicate a variety of ideas to specific markets or general public.

Symmetric two-way communication involves two parties being equal in the process. Such process is generally used by a company to let customers give more feedback that works for bringing improvements to the business. The expression also makes the customer feel a sense of value to the company.

How to be a better headphone listener

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When you’re listening to speakers the sound comes from “over there,” but with headphones where is the sound? A lot depends on the recording and the headphones. With mono recordings the sound is centered inside your head, with stereo the sound picture is more complicated. Vocals, or any sound mixed to appear centered between the left and right channels, will be inside your head, like a mono recording. The sounds over to the left and right might come from next to your ears.

Listening over one of the better open-back full-size headphones, the sound might feel like it’s surrounding you. You’re in the middle of the sound field, or it might come from slightly above your head. The headphones melt away and you are one with the music. Sometimes when I’m watching a movie I forget the headphones. The sound isn’t over there, it’s all around me; I’m in the middle of a sound “bubble.”

I’m not suggesting that headphones can ever mimic what we hear from speakers. Headphones can’t do that, but the downside to speakers is they can never be heard directly; the speakers’ sound is combined with the room’s reflections, reverberations, and other forms of acoustic interference. With headphones the sound “couples” directly to your ears, so you have a far more intimate connection to the music.

With full-size over-the-ear headphones, the contours of your outer ears direct the sound to your inner ears in the same way sound is heard from speakers. In-ear headphones “bypass” the outer ear and produce a more direct connection to the recording. With purely acoustic music, the sound over headphones takes on what I call a microphone perspective, you hear what the mics “heard.”

That’s not the case with electronic music since no microphones were used to make the recording. Even so, I find lots of electronica sounds amazing, and some of the best albums were mixed to produce out-of-head stereo imaging. Listen for depth, does the sound seem very close to your ears or further away? Recordings vary a lot in their stereo imaging, but the more closely you listen, the more aware you will be of spatial cues in headphone listening. Try some of Brian Eno’s ambient albums like “On Land” and “Apollo” to hear what I’m talking about.

To get started, relax and focus on the sound. Your surroundings should be fairly quiet, close your eyes, and sink into the music. After a few minutes the separate left, center, right stereo perspectives should fall away, and your head will feel like it’s in the center of an expansive sound field.

Share your thoughts on spatial headphone listening below.

We found this excellent article here and as you can see it give us valuable information on why headphones aren’t better than speakers, but if you don’t want your neighbors complaining or your family moaning, then you’ll have to wait for the technology to come up with perfect acoustic sound.

Did Someone Say Walkie Talkie Earpiece?

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Gone are the days of having to actually hold a 2 Way Radio while using it, thank goodness. Today’s world is one of convenience and I am so glad that it has translated over to Two Way Radios in the form of an earpiece. When everyone in your vicinity can hear what your conversation is about, or hear other conversations that just happen to be on the same station as you, it can get annoying. Not just when I get those side glances when the person “calling” speaks there mind, but it must be pretty aggravating for those having to hear my (sometimes) loud conversations, but not anymore! 2 Way Radios aren’t just something I can benefit from, but my family can too (kids love to play with the things, but the walkie talkies help parents to keep a check on them).

Although walkie talkies can be used on a daily basis for different things, I use mine primarily at work. My best friend, and partner on the job, takes his on family vacations so that he and his wife can keep up with everyone. Sure, cell phones are all the rage, but when you are out relaxing on the beach or snowboarding down a mountain, who wants to keep up with a phone? Just stick that little earpiece in and take off. Plus the kids, and the elderly parents, can all use them with ease.

Like I said, I use mine mostly at work. I need my hands to help my customers, so I do not have the extra hands to fiddle with a phone or the whole walkie talkie. Also, they help to keep sensitive information private. The speaker volume is easy to manoeuvre and the mic picks up words without getting all the background sounds. If the weather is nice, the walkie talkie earpiece is great to wear while on the motorcycle. The earpiece fits comfortably under my helmet, so if an emergency signal is sounded from work, I can still get it. This is also great for when my husband and I go on motorcycle road trips. We can always easily talk to one another while always keeping both eyes on the road.

In addition to the ways I use the Two Way Radio now, kids seem to really love these things. My partner’s kids love to play on them around the house, but also during games of paintball and airsoft when they need to covertly communicate with other kids on their team. The walkie talkie earpiece is also convenient if your kids ever venture off on their own. For example, my parents owned horses when I was a kid. They were always paranoid about my sister and I off riding horses throughout their land with no one around to help us if something went wrong. Thankfully, we had walkie talkies so we could radio them periodically to let them know we were fine and having fun. This situation could also apply to kids running around the neighborhood or out camping in the yard.

The good thing, technologically speaking, about walkie talkies is that they have been around for many years, and tech teams have worked to make them all the better. No longer do they just reach a couple of feet, but many miles depending on which set you get and the purpose of them. The new earpieces are amazingly convenient and easy to use, at a low cost. How you will be using a 2 Way Radio is something that you should keep in mind when looking for purchase one and the same goes for the earpiece. Although many can be used for multiple purposes, some walkie talkies work better further distances than others. Along the same line, some earpieces work better to keep out background noises (if you are on a motorcycle, per say) and some are more comfortable under a helmet. It is all about how you are going to use them, but they are all convenient and fun to use!

Formula One Pit Crews Embrace 3D Printed Noise Cancelling Earpieces From Minerva Hearing

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The sound of a racing motor at full throttle is a singularly powerful noise. While changes in Formula One motors, from V8s to the turbocharged 1.6-liter V6 motors of this season, mean they generate 15,000 RPM, which is 3,000 RPM less than last year, and though the smaller engines have made them significantly quieter, they’re still loud.

Now that scientists are warning people around the world of the dangers of prolonged exposure to high levels of noise, a Welsh company is using 3D printing to create earplugs to prevent hearing damage to everyone from musicians to Formula One mechanics.599468_513770338658254_1536909041_n

As a point of reference, you can tolerate the noise generated as you ride in a car – around 85 dB – for about 8 hours before hearing damage begins to occur. An average motorcycle generates 95 dB, and you can take about 47 minutes of that, and a loud rock concert can pound out 115 dB.

While the new generation of F1 cars creates some 80 dB of sound, the old V10-based cars pumped out 130 dB. At a level of 128 dB, your hair can actually begin to detect vibration from sound, and at those levels, hearing can be altered in a matter of seconds. A very small hand grenade or bomb can create up to 210 dB.

All this is important as one part of the inner ear, the cochlea, contains some 17,000 small hair cells called stereocilia which float inside cochlear fluid. When sound waves enter the cochlea, the stereocilia move, and that triggers an electrical impulse in the auditory nerve. The nerve passes those electrical impulses to the brain where they’re decoded as “sounds.”

Here’s the problem: once damaged, stereocilila don’t grow back.

Kevin Davies, operations director at Minerva Hearing Protection in Cardiff, Wales, says his company’s custom hearing protection devices built with 3D printing technology have been used for everything from providing protection for the pit crews on the F1 circuit to musicians on stage.

The products are custom molded to an individual’s ear canal to completely eliminate external sounds, and they’re formed in 3D printed hard acrylic. The earplugs feature tiny, built-in acoustic filters which take into account the natural response of the ear.IF

“With Formula cars producing volumes over 100dB under race conditions, multiplied many times over in a busy Grand Prix pit lane, the need for hearing protection as well as safe communication are paramount,” Davies says. “We have been working with the majority of Formula 1 teams over the past three years, and we are really proud to be part of a world that demands the highest standards of engineering technology.”

The devices are made from a soft, medically-approved silicone, and they can also be made from a firmer acrylic material which can be plated in silver, gold, or titanium.

The production process begins with a technician making an impression of a client’s outer ear canal, and then pouring in liquid silicon. The resulting molds are then digitized for input into a 3D printer, and the company says it produces more than 4,000 ear pieces per week. Davies says 3D printing technology has advanced well beyond simply the ability to produce prototypes.

1889080_698346236867329_8772122851610298217_oThe company has produced more than one million 3D printed products at their Cardiff manufacturing center. Minerva was one of the first companies to embrace additive manufacturing as a commercial proposition, and Davies says they acquired their first 3D printer in 2004 “at a cost in excess of $150,000.” They also receivedMHRA approval for medical-grade resin they use to 3D manufacture the ear-pieces.

“Having been one of the first UK producers to take the plunge and switched over entirely to this form of additive manufacturing, we believe we have proven the case for 3D printing as a serious manufacturing process,” Davies says. “It has well and truly arrived as a cost-effective and efficient production technology that brings us many advantages, and has truly stepped out of its technological novelty phase of recent years. We will continue to invest in new and improved 3D systems ensuring our products stay at the leading edge of our field.”

Davies says 3D printing technology has also helped Minerva produce over 8,000 variations of color and materials, and he adds that in-ear monitors and ear plugs are now laser-printed with logos, names, or images according to a customer’s preference.

Additional InformationAs we see the advent of 3D printers we will see more and more products that are relatively expensive to produce in small quantities and to see one of the most technologically advanced sports using this shows that it will have a bright future, you can find the original source of the article here

In Your Dreams: Bloke Dreams About Winning The Lottery, Actually Manages It …But Then Has To Give Half Of It Away…

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Back in 2012, Fatih Ozcan, a waiter working at the Kucukkoylu Turkish restaurant in York, apparently experienced a prophetic dream which involved him holding huge bundles of cash in both hands, whilst his boss, Hayati Kucokkoylu (either the restaurant is named after him or its an amazing coincidence) was standing in front of him.

Mr. Ozcan interpreted this dream as meaning that, if he played the lottery with his boss’ money, he’d win huge bundles of cash.

…Well, he was half right.

At work the next day, Mr. Ozcan pestered his boss to buy a few ‘Euromillions’ tickets, using money from the till. The boss eventually relented, suggested some numbers and gave him some cash.

…Amazingly, Ozcan later checked his ticket to find that he had won a Million quid.

When Fatih told Hayati of his fortunes, the boss decreed that all of the money was, in fact, his by right, as his money had paid for the majority of the tickets. Ozcan, for his part, was having none of it, and a major falling out occurred between the two men.

Eventually, the argument ended up going to court, where a judge (with apparently more sense than either man combined), decreed that the winnings should be shared 50/50 between the man that had supplied the ticket and the man that had paid for it.

Sounds fair, right? I mean both men still get a £500,000 payday out of it.

In summary, the waiter had the dream, stumped up a little cash and picked a few numbers. The restaurant manager donated the most cash (the princely sum of £9) and also picked a few numbers himself.

It really isn’t rocket science. 50/50 seems pretty fair to me…

Apparently that wasn’t the end of the debacle, though, as Kucukkoylu appealed the decision and took the issue to the London Civil Appeals Court, in the hopes of walking away with the full Million.

This month, after three years of legal wrangling, yet another judge told him to ‘bugger off and stop being so bloody greedy’ (albeit probably using more fancy language than that). The judge then declared that the fairest course of action was (you guessed it) to split the money 50/50, which pretty much any reasonable person would have already done anyway.

According to Kucukkoylu, he chose the numbers and paid for the ticket and thus, the money should rightly be his, however, without his employee having the dream in the first place, he never would have bought a ticket.

The really pathetic part of this story is that neither man appears to be happy with getting a £500,000 payday – and thus both saw fit to fight over it in court for three years, presumably spending loads on their legal fees.

…Seriously, where’s the logic?

Its hard to decide whether these men are simply greedy and stupid, or just stupid and greedy. Either way, it isn’t good.

As for the (presumably now fired) waiter – let’s just hope any dreams about seven fat customers devouring seven lean ones turn out to simply be a case of eating too much cheese before bed!

BIG Changes Announced By DC Comics…Again

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When veteran comic book publisher DC Entertainment announced that it was ending its entire line of comic books and starting everything again at Issue 1, the fans went crazy.

Some comics had been running, there or thereabouts uninterrupted, for 700 issues or more – and now it seemed that it was all over. Still, in 2011, when DC announced this major upheaval, naming their initiative ‘The New 52’, the first few issues actually sold rather well.

DC had started out by promising a company-wide ‘reboot’ of all their characters/stories, but then baulked at using the term after fan outcry became too great. Instead, it became seen as a ‘soft reboot’, or a ‘revamp’, which left fans – and creators too, evidently – scratching their collective heads regarding which major storyline events had still happened in the new timeline and which hadn’t.

Many fans, for their part, were upset that Frank Miller David Mazzuccelli’s ‘Batman: Year One’ was no longer the Bat’s official origin story, replaced instead by the gruelling, overlong ‘Zero Year’. In fact, fans were further annoyed when other classic texts such as Alan Moore Brian Bolland’s ‘The Killing Joke’ and Jeph Loeb Tim Sale’s ‘The Long Halloween’ also departed from Bat-continuity.

Elsewhere in the DCU, Superman was no longer after Lois Lane, instead striking up a romance with Wonder Woman. Barbara Gordon, the original Batgirl – latterly the company’s only major disabled character as Oracle – was miraculously able to walk again and The Flash Mk III, AKA Wally West, was simply erased from continuity altogether.

As time went on, we learned that The Joker was probably immortal, that Dick Grayson gave up his crime fighting identity of Nightwing to become a spy, that Green Arrow was somehow a kid again and that Catwoman and Batman enjoyed regular ‘on the job’ sex. In costume.

Of course, there were good stories, too, but as far as many fans were concerned, the end result was, to borrow a line from Red Dwarf’s Kryten “garbled, confusing and quite frankly duller than an in-flight magazine produced by air Belgium”.

Now, just four years later, sales have apparently slumped again, so DC’s reaction has been to plan another, still more drastic, reboot of the company’s characters.

The starting gun will be a story called ‘Convergence’ and it is set to officially begin next month. After that, the company will take a two-month hiatus and return with a new and completely rebooted line. Again.

Well, you know what they say, if at first you don’t succeed…

DC has already teased a ‘new look’ for Superman and Wonder Woman, designs that, personally, I’m hoping are April fools’ jokes. Superman will now be fighting crime and injustice with a buzzcut hairdo and a jeans-and-t-shirt ensemble that makes him look like, to quote one commenter “a gym douche” and Wonder Woman now has a 90’s style armoured battlesuit.

By working within the continuity established by The New 52, but moving it to the ‘back burner’ as it were, DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio hopes that “In this new era of storytelling, story will trump continuity as we continue to empower creators to tell the best stories in the industry.”

Launching 24 new number 1 issues in June (‘The Poor 24?’, ‘Less Is More, 24?’ – I’m just trying to come up with an angle for this), DC Entertainment is hoping to capture a funnier, sunnier feel with some of its characters. 25 successful series will be kept, but tweaked with new creative teams and whatnot.

Sadly, at least as far as online discussion is concerned, the overall feel is not one of ‘glorious new rebirth’ as much as it is ‘here we go again’. The image in the eyes of this long-time fan (and former ‘New 52’ apologist) is one of DC hitting the panic button in yet another sad attempt to appear ‘modern’ and ‘contemporary’ whilst actually revealing itself as stodgy and out of touch in the process.

Here’s Co-Publisher Jim Lee, usually one of the sharpest minds in comics, essentially blaming the audience for the failure of ‘The New 52’…

“It was really weird when we launched the New 52 — there were so many fans focused on, “What happened between the five years, when this character showed up, and this character” — it almost overshadowed what the original intent of it was, which was basically to put a fresh face on the universe, boldly go forward, tell new stories. This is an attempt to refocus the line, focus on story, focus on producing great stories that become canon, and letting the creators have some freedom to tell those stories, without necessarily being confined by the restriction of “continuity.”

Of course, comic book creators have been working with continuity, in one form or another, for 75 years or more, so it actually just seems to be the current crop (and thus, a tiny percentage overall) of creators who find it to be a “restriction”. But I digress, here’s more from DC’s Co-Publisher.

“I’ll just use one example — there was a tweet I saw, someone complaining about “Throne of Atlantis,” the DVD adaptation of the comic book. The complaint was, “Superman and Wonder Woman don’t breathe underwater. You failed.” Maybe the continuity proves that right, I don’t know — I’m pretty sure I’ve put Superman under water, and he was fine, and he’s been to outer space, same with Wonder Woman — when those things start overshadowing the story, and the emotional beats, I think there’s something wrong with what’s going on in the marketplace. That’s my perspective”.

One might argue that being DC’s Co-Publisher, it’s actually his job to know everything there is to know about Superman, including whether or not he can breathe underwater, but that’s really just the tip of the iceberg here.

Anyway, love the idea or hate it (and I think I’ve made my own feelings pretty clear on the subject), DC’s new line will be launching in June. Make of it what you will.

For many fans, (including myself) the reaction is not one of excitement and glee, but is, in fact, more akin to Seinfeld’s J. Peterman being confronted with ‘The Urban Sombrero’.

“The horror…The horror”

College Quarterbacks’ Earpieces

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Quarter backs plays an important role in American football. They are charged with the role of moving the team forward and ensuring that the play is perfect and that every move is coordinated towards the rival side in order to win. They act as leaders of the offensive team and are responsible for calling the play in the huddle. Do college quarter backs wear earpieces? That is always a million dollar question to every fan.

Due to their important role, defensive backs are allowed to wear earpieces in order to receive instructions from the coach as well as get the best tactics on how to make the best moves and ensure that they are able to push the rival team. Instructions come from the coaches since they are at a vantage point to clearly observe the other team and notice the flops of their team as they look forward to counter the other team and pursue them to make the best drills through the defensive backs.

Quartet backs are well familiar with their role and for this case the wearing of earpieces is very important in the game and tackles. It provides them with the idea of what to do next and avoid making similar mistakes since a quarterback acts as the team’s driver. A quarterback will play well, with his confidence boosted and therefore the team performance will definitely be improved as much different calls for the play are made. It is a perfect mechanism employed to lure the other team and ensure that victory is directed to the team with a great quarter back. Do college quarterbacks wear earpieces? The answer is yes, the coach always has a hard task while selecting a quarter back since his role is great and it demands somebody with the ability to multitask, this to play, listen and lead the entire team to the decisions that he has been instructed without necessarily having to fail.

Earphones are perfectly designed and well fit in their helmet so that the quarter back can receive instructions clearly. They are well made to ensure that there is clear communication when it comes to getting the instructions as the game progresses. Much of the information relayed is the offensive play in and it serves an important fundamental role in ensuring that communication is paramount to the outcome of the game, for example, getting instructions like triple actions means that the quarterback will only pass the ball a few times in the game.

The earpiece does not run on throughout the game, it is designed to be automatically switched off at W15 seconds left on the play clock, a dedicated official in the college American Football is charged with this role to ensure that all is well. Once switched off, the radio is not turned on until the end of the game. Due to this unique advantage to the quarter back, he is allowed to have a designated W/a green dot placed on the back of the helmet. He is unique and plays such an important role in the game thus having to acquire this different stature.

Introducing the Sensear Intrinsically Safe Double Protection Headset

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Many of you might not heard of Sensear, they are making big strides in the headset industry, here is their latest offering.

Sensear, a global leader in developing and manufacturing best-in-class digital communication headsets, announced the release today of their new Intrinsically Safe Double Protection Headset (IS-SDP). Based on Sensear’s existing SM1xSR IS headset, and incorporating the double protection feature from Sensear’s current non-IS double protection headset; the new IS-SDP headset includes an improved boom microphone, and will interface with a variety of two-way radios both cabled and via Bluetooth for wireless operations.  Bluetooth can also be used with IS Smart phones and other IS Bluetooth devices.

The Sensear IS-SDP headset was developed from a marketplace need for a high performance intrinsically safe headset for extreme noise environments that require Class 1 Div 1 certification. Double hearing protection (both ear plugs and ear muffs) is often required when exposures may exceed 95 decibels (dBA) in many critical working areas. At the same time operators in these environments are required to use two-way radios to hear site communications and respond appropriately. Without the use of an appropriate intrinsically safe headset communications on site can potentially be very difficult.

The ear-plugs for the IS-SDP are hard wired to the headset allowing for dual protection, and communications to be directly understood by the operator. The IS-SDP’s 31 dB NRR combined with Sensear’s patented SENS™ technology allow operators to protect their hearing at a safe level of 82 dB, communicate effectively between co-workers via two-way radio and Bluetooth and maintain 360-degree awareness.

“We were excited about the development of the IS-SDP the early beginnings of Sensear grew from creating unique solutions for many industrial environments,” said Peter Larsson, CEO.  “The IS-SDP continues to show our commitment to developing practical, usable products that solve the communication challenges in heavy industry.”

Source - http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/introducing-the-sensear-intrinsically-safe-double-protection-headset-300052146.html

How Do Passive Noise Cancelling Headphones Work

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It is quite unfortunate that for most music lovers, there is a myriad of ambient noises and sounds that can really interfere with the music coming from your earphones, Now, if you have ever once tried to listen to music on a bus, train or airplane, then you are intimately familiar with this problem. The engine’s roar and/or the incessant chatter from fellow passengers, make extremely hard to hear the sounds coming from your speakers, even if they are on or inside your ear. Fortunately, to combat this dilemma, innovators have come up with far more enjoyable way of listening to your music- Noise canceling headphones of which there are two types:

- the active- the passive types.

HOW PASSIVE NOISE CANCELLATION WORKS

The simplest type of noise cancellation is the passive noise reduction, sometimes called noise isolation. From a technical perspective, just about any kind of earphones are able to provide some degree of passive noise reduction (though some are designed for it more than others). This is mostly as a result of the materials used to make the headphones which block out particular sound waves, mostly those of a higher frequency. The absolute best type of passive noise canceling headphones are however the circum-aural types which are specifically engineered to maximize the amount of noise it filters. We will take a look at this some more in a bit. Essentially, where passive noise isolation, the head phones are so designed that they will fit snugly into or around each ear. This makes it significantly harder for noise to escape and bother others in your immediate environment, and it also prevents the noise in your environment from making it hard for you to listen to your music. Passive noise cancellation earphones tend to have very large ear pieces, with large pieces of foam wrapped around them. You need to squeeze the foam into your ear which them provides a perfect seal for the ear canal, or they fit just right around your ear.

All this is saying that passive noise cancelling earphones in essence imitate what happens when you choose to cover your ears with your hands or put some ear plugs in. The excess padding is always done with materials that naturally act as sound barriers- fitting into your ear and sealing off the ambient noise.

Supra-aural headphones, which are earphones placed over and around the ear, instead of in or around it, are probably the very worst at any form of sound cancellation. They tend to be low density, small and very light, as such there is really not much padding to block and outside sound or ambient noise from entering the ear. Furthermore, because they are only placed on the ear, there is a great deal of space for any external noise to travel around them and into the ear canal. It is on very rare occasions that you actually find a top quality supra-aural earphone, because they are simply unable to provide the kind of noise cancellation that circumaural or in ear headphones provide. Supra-aural earphones are lightly manufactured and as such are usually marketed for customers who are not particularly focused on headphone quality, but mostly looking for basic functionality.

Take for instance, most desktop or video game headsets tend to be supra-aural. They are mostly preferred because they are light and as such are suitable for the long, extended hours they will be used. Additionally, in cases like these audio quality is not of great importance since it they are mostly used for spoken communication, where clarity is the focus and nothing else really matters.

When it comes to passive noise cancelling headphones, circumaural or around the ear headphones provide a significantly better noise cancellation quality. They are bigger in size and as such they include more noise reduction material. This in turn creates a far better buffer against outside noise- think beats headphones. Essentially this means that they are heavily packed with layers of high top quality high density foam,, or some other sound absorbing material. Admittedly, this then makes them a bit heavier than the average headphones, but since they completely block the ear off, they keep out up to 95% of outside noise. Well, this is assuming that the circumaural earphones you choose, fit your ears snugly. If they are either poorly designed or not the perfect fit then ambient noise will still be able to make its way in.

Sony To Launch VR Headset In 2016

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Well, the headline above pretty much says it all. Electronics company Sony have announced that they will be ready to launch their hotly anticipated PS4 virtual reality headset as early as next year.

…And I don’t mean late next year, either. Although no official release dates have been given, Sony have assured consumers that the new VR headset will be available for purchase during the “first half” of 2016. This is exciting news for any gamer (as well as for those of us that make a living writing about such advancements!)

Project Morpheus as the headset has been nicknamed by its developers, was officially announced at the recent Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, California, USA. One year earlier, the annual event saw the unveiling of an early prototype headset.

This latest prototype, however, features a larger screen and exterior LED lights that aid in the tracking of movement. The new screen has a 100 Degree field of view and can render imagery at a speed of 120 frames per second.

Improvements include the redistribution of weight toward the back of the user’s head, as well as a section of the headset that accommodates the user’s eyeglasses.

Anyway. Now that the real deal is nearly ready to “rock and/or roll” (as Springfield’s Reverend Lovejoy would have it), gamers can eagerly look forward to the addition of a new dimension to their favourite pastime.

Yahoo! News reported that, Shuhei Yoshida, President of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide, announced the news, along with the following, “Our goal with VR is to deliver a sense of presence, making the player feel as though they’ve stepped inside the world of a game (…) The new Project Morpheus prototype brings us closer to that goal, as it improves the visual experience and tracking accuracy, both of which are critical to achieving sense of presence.”

As my old Nan used to say, “it’s all clever stuff”. However, Sony aren’t the only computer company dabbling in virtual reality entertainment. HTC and Valve are expected to release their Vive system later this year, while Oculus VR are also heavily involved in the development of a similar device, the Oculus Rift headset.

As with all new technologies, there will probably be a few ‘ghosts in the machine’ to start of with, however, VR gaming is certainly going to represent a fascinating step forward in the field of computer-based entertainment.