Audio specialist Sennheiser has collaborated with Los Angeles-based tech and fashion curator BrandsWalk to create an immersive 3D audio and visual art installation unlike any other: The Sounds of LA. The public art installation, to be held between October 14th through October 20th at Downtown L.A.’s The Bloc, allows visitors to interact with their favorite sounds of the city — all captured on the AMBEO SMART HEADSET by L.A. social influencers and content curators. The AMBEO SMART HEADSET will be available in the U.S. from 19th October.
The art installation features a large 6′ gallery cube on which a static image from each storyteller is cast. Accessing an adjacent kiosk with a pair of headphones, attendees can then listen to a fully immersive, 3D audio track that each storyteller created while experiencing a different ‘unique slice’ of L.A. — each segment captured using the Sennheiser AMBEO SMART HEADSET. The content itself ranges from skating through the streets of downtown L.A. and hiking Los Liones to the sounds of music and the city.
“We invite the public to visit the ‘Sounds of LA’ art installation, which provides a startling glimpse into the future of audio,” commented Stefanie Reichert, Director Trade Marketing, Retail, Americas at Sennheiser. “With the help of our friends at BrandsWalk, The Bloc and our talented pool of influencers and content curators around L.A., we are showcasing a revolutionary way of capturing content that requires the use of just a smartphone and the new Sennheiser AMBEO SMART HEADSET. Immersive audio technology has arrived for the masses, and the possibilities are only limited by each user’s own imagination.”
The Sennheiser AMBEO SMART HEADSET is a headset featuring a recording function that allows users to experience and produce 3D video sound. The headset’s binaural audio delivers an immersive 3D experience, placing the listener inside the soundscape and replicating the direction of sounds and spatial characteristics of the user’s environment. For the binaural audio recordings, the earpiece of the headset is fitted with two quality microphones. The immersive effect, which can be experienced on playback with any stereo headphones, is made possible by reproducing the subtle differences in timing, volume and timbre that occur as sounds from different directions reach each ear.
A sonic vantage point
Chris Ray, a Los Angeles-based filmmaker, is among the content curators to be featured during the installation. An L.A. native and passionate skateboarder for more than 15 years, Ray is intimately familiar with the sounds of L.A. as experienced from the unique vantage point of his skateboard deck. The ‘Sounds of LA’ installation imparts this sensation to listeners as he traverses the sidewalks, hills and busy streets of the city.
“Los Angeles is the capital and birthplace of skateboarding and the sound of a skateboard always makes me turn my head,” he says. “With the Sennheiser AMBEO SMART HEADSET, I am able to capture flawless audio in 360 degrees while using just a pair of headphones. Playback gives one the feeling of being there in real life, and the listener can hear exactly what the skateboarder heard while he was on his board.”
A context for self-expression
The Bloc and BrandsWalk present an ideal platform for the ‘Sounds of LA’ cooperation, combining a vibrant, open-air environment with a community that is deeply rooted in both fashion and technology. The Bloc — which spans a full L.A. city block and is a convergence point for four separate Metro lines — combines a truly unique array of retail shops and entertainment to create a stimulating urban center.
Inside the BrandsWalk store, which is directly adjacent to the installation area, visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about the AMBEO SMART HEADSET from Sennheiser brand ambassadors. Also, visitors can take time to browse through the store’s immaculately curated collection of tech-fashion products that speak to the individuality and tech-savviness of the millennial generation.
“We are excited to debut the Sennheiser AMBEO SMART HEADSET at our Los Angeles flagship store at The Bloc in downtown LA,” said Mary Lee, President of BrandsWalk. “It’s been our vision to provide our customers the experience to touch and feel the products in our store and we would like to thank Sennheiser and The Bloc for making this possible.”
Several AMBEO SMART HEADSET loaner units will be made available each day, so attendees can experiment capturing the sounds of L.A. using their own smartphones. Playback of the immersive audio content is effective through any pair of stereo headphones — including Sennheiser’s HD 1 Wireless and PXC 550 Wireless models, which will also be on display during the installation.
BrandsWalk’s Los Angeles flagship store is located at the plaza level of The Bloc, 700 South Flower, Los Angeles, CA 90017. For more information about the Sennheiser AMBEO SMART HEADSET, please visit: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/in-ear-headphones-3d-audio-ambeo-smart-headset.