NTT’s new headphone design stops sound leaking even for open-ear devices

Developers at NTT have developed new design technology, so only listeners can hear sound from open-ear headphones. The tech firm’s single speaker features sound wave control that prevents any sound leakage.

A spokesperson said: “Our technology enables the development of open-ear earphones that do not leak sound. With these earphones, you will be able to communicate with people around you without worrying about sound leakage to the surroundings.”

With the increase in remote work and online education, earphones are becoming more and more necessary for consumers’ daily lives. However, wearing earphones for long periods of time places a heavy burden on the ears, sparking concerns over health risks.

Canal-type earphones and headphones block out external sound, making it difficult to hear sounds around us or notice telephone calls or approaching vehicles. Open-ear earphones, such as neck speakers and bone-conduction earphones, have the disadvantage of leaking sound into the surroundings. Therefore, NTT has introduced a speaker enclosure design technology that can support open-ear earphones with minimal sound leakage.

NNT's new speaker enclosure that reduces sound leakage
NNT’s new speaker enclosure that reduces sound leakage

NTT vs existing speakers

The sound emitted by a typical speaker spreads in all directions.

The new single speaker technology keeps the sound in a very small space by drilling multiple holes at appropriate locations on the sides of the speaker enclosure.

When positive-phase sound waves from the front of the speaker reach the ear, they are reflected by the ear, generating sound waves that lead to sound leakage.

“Our technology suppresses these sound waves of sound leakage with sound waves in the opposite phase emitted from the holes in the sides of the speaker enclosure. This enables the sound leakage to become very small as sound moves away from the ear,” the company added.

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