Redefining Sound: An Innovative, Philosophical Approach
Take a moment to think about where you are right now. What sound can you hear that is the
furthest away from you? Maybe you hear cars whizzing by outside, or maybe you hear the sounds of typing, or maybe some laughter in the distance. And now, take a moment to notice the sound closest to you. Maybe it’s a nearby conversation, or the tapping of your feet, or even the sound of your own breath.
Sounds are around us constantly, but we don’t always stop to consider what we are hearing. And even more interestingly, we don’t often stop to consider what it means to be a sound? What counts as a sound, and where are sounds located (if they even have locations)?
At Lucid Audio, we are always thinking deeply about “sound” to improve the experience of listening. In this way, we are redefining sound. For the rest of this blog, I’ll walk you through some basic questions that will get you thinking about the fascinating nature of sound.
Sounds are qualities that we perceive. Other things that we perceive are temperatures, colors, and smells. These are all sensory qualities. However, sound is different from these other qualities because it can be harder to pin down. Where does sound exist in space? Does it only exist in the place that the sound is made, or does it only exist to the listener of the sound? If it only exists to the listener, does this mean that the same sound could be in hundreds of different places simultaneously (at a concert with a large crowd, for example)?
These questions are reminiscent of the age-old philosophical thought experiment: if a tree falls
in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Some would argue that the obvious answer is yes–obviously there would be a crashing noise; we could even put a recorder in the forest to record the noise of it crashing. But if we took the recorder out, and there was absolutely no way to hear or record the sound, then would it still make sense to say that a sound was made? If there is no one to hear a sound, then the concept of “sound” might be meaningless.
Science helps to clear up some of this confusion by defining sound as a wave that travels through some medium. This interpretation clears up the previous questions because it interprets sound as one wave that stretches from the “maker” of the sound to the “hearer” of the sound. However, there are still philosophical questions about what sound as a “wave” means. If sound is always a wave, is it always a process rather than a discrete event? And what does it mean if one object makes a sound repetitively? Does “mooing” belong as a property to a cow, for example, or is it just one sound that the cow produces? While we can say that some tulips are the color yellow, it makes less sense to say that cows are their moos. But hey, maybe they are their moos!
There is so much to consider when it comes to sound. Lucid Audio is innovative because we are constantly redefining sound and the experience of hearing. The AMPED headphones, neckbands, and ear buds redefine sound because they allow you to listen sounds that are close to you and far away from you with equal ease. These AMPED products work by amplifying the noises around you that you might otherwise miss while listening through different headphones. Even as I write this blog, I can blast my music while still hearing my puppy whining across the house as she is ready to go outside.
By bringing the noises that are far from you closer to you, Lucid Audio’s AMPED technology is redefining sound. Once again, notice the sound that is furthest away from you, and the one that is closest to you. With Lucid’s AMPED technology, both of those noises could come straight into your ears at almost equal volume.
We encourage you to continue being curious about the sounds in our world. And in the meantime, we’ll keep redefining sound and enhancing the experience of listening