Update: Sonic Lamb headphones are available on Indiegogo (opens in a new tab) now, from November 9, 2022 to December 14, 2022, at a great price (saving you 33%) starting at €199 /€173. Delivery is scheduled for February 2023 and the company anticipates wider availability at select online retailers beginning in September 2023.
Any audio startup that posts the title "Our Eargasm Promise" in their review guide isn't afraid of coming off as more than a little, uh, eager to please...
But it is nothing more than a new and avant-garde helmet proposal. The duo who designed these boxes care about people with hearing loss too, and I must confess that after putting on one of four sets of these Sonic Lamb wireless headphone prototypes, just to see what happens, I'm a huge fan.
I had negative preconceptions about the technology: it would buzz, it would creep, the sound would get louder, wearing them would hurt over time, it would be fancy, it just wouldn't work. None of these things is true. It's actually quite a subtle performance that I've been listening to with pleasure for several days now.
The concept? In a nutshell (if you need a detailed explanation, we've covered that too), we humans don't just hear through our ears; we also feel the sound through our body. The human ear is tuned to higher frequencies (a twig breaking in the woods) and much less sensitive to low (bass) frequencies. Therefore, we tend to feel sub-bass and bass frequencies more than we hear them (thunder, jungle rumble, etc.).
Speaker and home theater manufacturers use multiple audio drivers dedicated to each audio spectrum to reproduce that audio experience, as well as a dedicated subwoofer for low-frequency audio—the kind we can feel. But even in the best headphones, the experience is compromised due to the widespread use of a single audio driver on each side of our head and the lack of specialized audio technology to emulate a subwoofer.
Sonic Lamb changes that. It incorporates a standard full-range audio driver to reproduce the mid and high frequencies as sound waves (i.e., traditionally, in the air), plus a proprietary driver that, and this is the crazy thing, converts the audio signal into corresponding mechanical impulses, thus turning the pads into a virtual diaphragm.
This mechanical impulse is transferred from the pads to the skin and bones of the listeners and voila! You really feel the music.
Hold them in your hands while the music plays and you'll feel the difference between these wireless headphones and the Sony WH-1000XM5, for example (and, indeed, pretty much all of the best on-ear headphones in our buying guide) because there's a vibrating effect you can feel. feel, but once they're over your ears, they're not willing to move to the back of your crown.
And they recreate the experience of being at a live concert much better than you could have imagined. Unlike Woojer, for example, which rests on the chest or belt buckle, these pulses are also sent around the ears, which helps.
Opinion: Sonic Lamb Ear Protectors Are Better Than This Tabloid Marketing
Sonic Lamb also comes with a molded travel case (Image credit: TechRadar)
I was hesitant to write the subheading above because of course, in the sea of emails I receive every day, the concept of a headset stood out enough to click which, let's face it, the otherwise was. just another set of over-ears now lives on Indiegogo. So I applaud the audacity.
That said, they are better than an exciting title.
Granted, the design feels a bit clunky in terms of the buttons and dial currently scrolling through the lowest vibration levels you'll get (choose between hear, feel, immerse, and beast - I appreciate beast more). It's a bit heavy, but the basics are perfect. Comfort, weight, well-padded ear cups, and overall sound quality are all good, and my thoughts on the new haptic styling concept are overwhelmingly positive. Simply put, I didn't expect to feel good about this kind of sound, but it does.
If you can get your hands on a pair, listen to the sound of the bass in Fat Freddy's Drop's Wandering Eye for nine minutes and 50 seconds. Hear how flute, guitar, chorus and tambourine passages are always crisp and punchy while Dallas Tamaira's silky voice takes center stage. it's good isn't it? Different, but good.
So do they deliver that promised headset? Well, Sonic Lamb explains that that might not be exactly what they meant, if you thought what he was thinking there. "We believe Eargasm is the ultimate listening experience and a treat for the ears," the company writes.
"We believe this is possible when we create the perfect conduit between people and music. The sound is not only heard, but part of it is also felt and perceived in our bodies and we intend to replicate that experience as well. Eargasm is our hallmark. commitment to tirelessly developing audio solutions that deliver nothing less than an in-ear orgasm. For us, orgasm is not sensual, but it arises from many life experiences, such as euphoria and longing. Orgasm is not only superior audio quality, but also the impact and influence of getting lost in music and how that connection transforms, heals, motivates and provides great pleasure."
Yes, Sonic Lamb achieves all of that. Is audible bass compromised? Maybe just a touch; but that's the beauty of it. We've grown accustomed to a different, designed kind of headphone listening, and it's not a bad thing to consider changing our perception of "good" and "bad" bass representation - a different recipe with added sensations, if you will.
You certainly don't lose the natural feel of the bass, and I might try to trick a listener with some degree of hearing loss into trying them out for me, to find out how well they agree. I certainly worked with two almost totally deaf professional dancers who were more than capable of dancing to a beat - they just felt the sound vibrations coming from everything around us and moved beautifully.
Sonic Lamb is a talented and detailed set of headphones plus all the cutting edge tech integration, with separation, finesse and energy when playing grime tracks from Stormzy, Dave and Lethal Bizzle, because of course I was going to see how far I could go. . them.
Graphic? You should be. Keep an eye out for Sonic Lamb (Opens in a new tab).
Whatever magic happens in these Sonic Lamb headphones, it's a good one... (Image credit: TechRadar)