If you want to recreate the movie theater experience at home, you usually have to buy five — or more — speakers to surround your couch. Instead of putting a lot of money into sets of speakers that are going to be confined to one room, 3D Sound Labs has created a set of headphones that can emulate that experience anywhere you go. The headphones, called Neoh, can virtualize 25 or so different speaker channels — well more than you're probably going to be using any time soon. If the movie or TV show that you're watching has multiple channels, Neoh should be able to emulate all of them to make it sound like they're coming from speakers all around you.
The soundscape moves based on how your head moves
Virtual speakers are nothing new, but Neoh has one big feature that sets it apart: it tracks your head, so that the soundscape moves as you move. Just as a speaker to your left would sound louder if you turned your ear toward it, Neoh will elevate the sound to your left when you turn in that direction. You can even turn away from the video and have the sound play as though it were behind you. Unfortunately, you can't just load up a movie and have the headphones work — right now, you have to play the video through Neoh's companion iPad app. While it can accept most videos that you load into it (it also connects to cloud services like Dropbox to play videos), you'll still have to find a way to get your movies there, which certainly isn't the most straightforward process for the average viewer. 3D Sound Labs also imagines that its headphones could be used for gaming in the future.
Neoh is going to head onto a crowdfunding platform later this month. 3D Sound Labs, which is unveiling Neoh today, says that the product is just about done, but it does need a little more funding to finish development and get them made. The company didn't provide a final price for the headphones, but it says that Neoh should sell for below $299.