Tagged With sound

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On Monday, a team of scientists in Australia announced an exciting breakthrough: For the first time, researchers were able to turn light into sound on a microchip. But — as crazy-sounding new physics applications tend to be — it's probably going to be a long time before you see one of these chips on a computer you can buy. More importantly, what the heck does "turn light into sound" even mean?

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...Sort of. 300 years worth of audio engineering experience, at least. Samsung's brand new MS750 all-in-one soundbar is the result of a huge amount of exacting — and genuinely world-first — audio development at the company's multimillion-dollar Los Angeles lab. The end result is a soundbar that massively improves the sound from your TV, and it doesn't even need a subwoofer to hit the low notes.

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We've all been there: Building a scale model of the Death Star in our basement and thinking, "I just wish this had a tractor beam to grab onto my tiny Styrofoam Millennium Falcon." Now, thanks to a team of scientists, you can put the finishing touches on that model with your very own sonic tractor beam. OK, maybe we haven't all been there, but I'm sure someone has been there.

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Whether you're gaming, watching movies, or streaming Spotify, there are likely to be times when your laptop's default sound setup doesn't quite hit the highs and lows you're looking for. If you don't want to settle for subpar audio any longer, there are ways to improve it, and we've outlined some of the best below.

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Video: None of us will probably never make it to the red planet, but if you want to get a feel for what Mars would sound like (or hear what it's like from inside an airlock), saddle up with this video from Cody's Lab. He drops a camera inside a vacuum chamber and then turns down the pressure to mimic what it's like on Mars. He actually makes it so that there's no air inside the chamber at all, which means that sound can't be created. It's pretty chilling to hear that sort of silence (even if we hear silence all the time).

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Video: Radiolab's Jad Abumrad sits down to talk about music — its purpose, its function, its meaning — with filmmaker Mac Premo in this wildly frenetic video and somehow manages to explain why music is so special. Abumrad says that unlike words, which are basically just a code or an agreement between people, music just is what it is, and the response we have is innate. Music can magically get around a person's rational defences and is something that makes us who we are.

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Turtle Beach's Hypersound Glass speakers use a sheet of transparent glass to drive sound in a highly focused beam directly in front of them while being inaudible outside the beam's range. Welcome to never knowing why you're hearing ads all the time — our Blade Runner hell future has arrived.

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Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is the closing chapter of Nathan Drake's treasure hunting adventures. The game is made by Naughty Dog, a developer known more recently for the survival thriller The Last of Us. The unifying thread among developer's projects is that they're exceptionally cinematic, even more so than most other big budget games.

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Video: When a pigeon flies, you can hear it sloppily slap its wings as it makes its way through the air. When a peregrine falcon flies, the flight is powerful and beautiful but you can still hear the movement. When a barn owl flies? Complete silence. It's amazing to see. BBC Earth set up microphones along the flight path of the birds to let us hear the difference.

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Image Cache: It's natural to think of sound as an exclusively auditory experience. But if you were to see a sound wave, what would it look like? Science photographer Linden Gledhill decided to find out using water and neon lights. And the result is some psychedelic synaesthesia.