Israeli-made SoundBeamer: Listen to audio without earphones

Made by Israeli start-up Noveto, SoundBeamer will change the way people listen.

SoundBeamer. (photo credit: Courtesy)
(photo credit: Courtesy)
You can listen to audio via speakers, so everyone around you can hear, or privately through earphones. But wouldn’t it be great if we could keep the sounds to ourselves but not have to be cut off from our surroundings?
The Israeli start-up Noveto announced last week that it will begin presales of the Alfa model of the SoundBeamer – a smart speaker that beams the sound directly to the listener’s ears, using no earphones, without disturbing anyone sitting nearby. Only the person using the speaker can hear the sounds.
The sensation is that of listening with earphones – but without them. The user can listen to music, film, chat or Zoom while still keeping in touch with his surroundings, while no one sitting nearby can hear anything.
The company is preparing to launch the product at the end of 2021, but the first prototypes are available already.
“We operate in the area between earphones and speakers,” explains VP technology Tomer Shani, one of the owners. “The downside of earphones is that they cut you off from the surroundings. They are also not always comfortable to wear for long hours. On the other side, using your phone or laptop’s speakers may disturb others, not to speak of things you may not wish to share with everyone around you, when working in open space or at home.”
Shani explains how it works: “The top part has a small 3D camera, which captures the user’s face and evaluates where their ears are, because we want to beam the sound only to the ears. The two small speakers on both sides of the camera are made up of many ultrasonic speakers, each controlled separately, allowing us to focus the acoustic energy to the ears and build ‘sound pockets’ near the ears. At this point we can ‘ride’ the sound waves on the ultrasound waves. This creates the feeling as though you were listening with invisible earphones.”
When one uses the SoundBeamer, the sensation is like listening to a surround sound system – without the need to actually have one. The Noveto SoundBeamer 1.0 will be available for a limited time at Kickstarter projects for $345 and up.
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