At the upcoming AES Europe 2023 convention in Helsinki, Jonny McClintock of Belfast-based Audio Codecs will chair a workshop on Headphone 3.0 — the next generation in head-worn technology for audio and immersive experiences and brain data monitoring.
Over the past 20 years, Bluetooth has enabled wireless audio connectivity. “However,” says McClintock, “we have now reached the point of diminishing returns where lossless CD quality is just about possible but with the burden of high latency.” McClintock explains that the workshop will offer an alternative that can deliver hi-res (24 bit / 96kHz) linear PCM at a latency of under 10 milliseconds.
The audio performance is part of Headphone 3.0, which McClintock describes as the “smartification” of wireless headsets. It requires a system-based approach that offers up CosmOS (an “operating system for the ear”), ultra-wide band and appropriate antennas to address cross-body issues. In addition to 24/96 linear PCM, this solution addresses 5.1 with a reverse back channel for voice.
According to McClintock, Headphone 3.0 has benefits beyond audio. “The use of an OS to deliver run-time reconfigurability may focus on audio but can also be used for cognitive function assessment and to monitor other well-being activities,” he explains, adding, “Supporting UWB at 6.5GHz and 8GHz offers up to 10MBit/s data throughput at low latency suitable for real-time, interactive applications such as gaming.”
The AES Convention takes place at Aalto University, Espoo, near Helsinki, Finland, on May 13–15.
Directly after the event, representatives from CosmOS founders Sonical, will attend the HighEnd audio show in Munich.