Copyright © 2022 by Big Ideas Incorporated
A Simple Shape Based on Sound Science
Each Earglasses® sound reflector is formed from a parabolic arc rotated 180° into an
acoustic lens. The shape performs like a miniature concert bandshell. The arc has a
focal point at the center of your outer ear, to concentrate sounds coming from in front
of you. The intensified sound bounced into your ear canal retains a coherent wave
form, and the proper, upright auditory image of the sound's source. The device has
been awarded two U.S. Utility Patents, numbers 4,997,056 and 8,122,995.
Sound waves bounce off of Earglasses® lens’
inner face, into the user's ear canal.
On-axis good sounds (green arrow) versus
the anti-Haas-effect evil sounds (red) echoes.
The chart shows the frequencies boosted by
Earglasses® new model’s lenses. These results
from a sound technician’s measures show
that our new model amplifies even better
than our old headband-mounted lenses did.
The increased volume of sound at frequencies
above 8,000 cycles per second are of great
importance, since that’s where people tend
to lose their hearing first. And this is the
region where our new model shows the
greatest improvement over our old model.
The lenses are precision molded from a high impact, non-reverberant, clear
plastic. The shells reflect fully 94% of the sound energy that strikes them.
They also reject noise which comes from your sides and your back. This
deceptively simple device has some sound science behind it:
1. Improved Haas Precedence Effect - the direct sound from a source like a
TV loudspeaker tends to mask the distracting noise of room "echoes" that
have been reflected and delayed by up to 30 milliseconds.This is a sonic
benefit called the Haas Precedence Effect. But sounds that travel over 35
feet, reflecting off of walls, floors, ceilings and back again, can overcome the
Haas effect. This can blunt your ability to understand words, and can blur
sounds from audio systems or live musicians. Earglasses® lenses can block
out over 55% of those sound-image-destroying room reflections.
2. Less Off-Axis Response – almost all loudspeakers' most accurate
frequency response comes straight out from their fronts. Unfortunately, a
loudspeaker's "off-axis" sounds make up most of a listening room's
reflections. These sounds are more highly distorted as well as less
dynamically accurate. Here again, by reducing the ears' acceptance of
reflected sound, Earglasses® lenses can make any decent loudspeaker with
good on-axis response sound much more accurate. Even a boombox can
begin to have some of the listening quality of a high-end audio system.
3. Non-electronic Amplification - our reflectors amplify mid-to-high-
frequency sounds by over twelve decibels. Though lower in amplitude than
the gain produced by electronic hearing aids or personal sound amplifiers,
this amplification can be more useful in several respects. The lenses'
amplification frequency curve complements the frequencies most often lost
due to age-induced hearing declines. Also, the gain is perfectly phase-
coherent, and noise free. The lenses of course can't be damaged by
perspiration, and never need batteries or electronic repairs. The sounds
which are most powerfully amplified are those which carry sounds' details,
and the most delicate, easily muffled overtones.
4. Out-Of-Home Use - their appearance aside, Earglasses® lenses are well
suited to use in venues where delicate sounds die quickly. At "packed house"
musical performances, in the thinner air of mountain altitudes, or in sound-
damping humid weather, musical instruments' overtones can lose over 25
decibels in volume just moving from the front to the rear of a concert hall.
Users at lectures, plays, operas and concerts will immediately notice the
reduced distractions of audience noise, and the way performers' or
lecturers' intelligibility is enhanced, even from seats in the very back row.
5. Ergonomics - the shape of the Earglasses® lens has been carefully
determined by merging human factors and acoustic data. For example, the
lens' size is based on medical census data regarding the typical size of the
human ear, and the position of the ear canal opening in relation to the rear
of the typical pinna. And the curve of the lens is designed to preserve phase
coherency of sound waves as they bounce off of the lens and the concha,
and are sent into the opening of the ear canal.
6. Research and Development - we learned a great deal from testing our
first model's shape in a sound laboratory's anechoic chamber. These
findings plus empirical testing of prototypes produced by "3D Printing"
aided design of our new model. Without the application of the findings from
these experiments, the product's performance and comfortability would
have been significantly reduced.