science
Scientists Store Light as Sound on a Microchip for the First Time

On Monday, a team of scientists in Australia announced an exciting breakthrough: For the first time, researchers were able to turn light into sound on a microchip. But—as crazy-sounding new physics applications tend to be—it’s probably going to be a long time before you see one of these chips on a computer you can buy. More importantly, what the heck does “turn light into sound” even mean? Read More >>

watch this
The Uncanny Sound Illusion That Creates Suspense in Christopher Nolan’s Movies 

Ever notice how Christopher Nolan’s movies (Interstellar, Inception, The Prestige) feel like an anxiety attack? Well, maybe that’s overstating things a bit. But the director does have a knack for creating an unnerving degree of tension. Turns out he’s using a little bit of musical magic to do it. Read More >>

gadgets
Sky Getting Into The Speaker Business With Its New Soundbox

Sky has done a deal with high-end speaker company Devialet to produce a soundbar co-branded by the two firms. The speaker will retail for a fairly staggering £799, but there's good news. Current Sky customers will get the speaker for £299 and Sky Q Multiscreen punters will pay just £249. Read More >>

tv
Doctor Who Nerds Will Need a Pair of Headphones This Weekend

The BBC's still having the occasional fiddle with posh audio formats, and is using flagship entertainment experience Doctor Who to try to get people watching TV with their headphones on this weekend. Read More >>

cars
Should Electric Cars Go Whoosh or Vroom?

Electric car makers have until 2019 to decide what kinds of sounds their vehicles should project to warn pedestrians of their approach, when it becomes compulsory for EVs sold inside the EU to make some sort of vrooming sound. And some developers are already on the case. Read More >>

reviews
The New Sonos Playbase Is Great, Comes a Little Too Late

There was a brief period of time—think 2011 to 2015, where the pedestal-like soundbar was convenient for TV owners. TVs had become skinnier and sound had ended up crummier as a consequence. Functioning as both speaker and stand, the pedestal was an appealing soundbar-style ideal for TV owners who had no plans to mount a set on their wall, but didn’t have space for a giant sound log resting precariously in front of their set. Sonos’ new Playbase is one of the best pedestal-style sound bars you will be able to buy right now, but, uhh, it’s also way late. Read More >>

hackers
Hackers Can Now Use Sound Waves to Take Control of Your Smartphone

There’s an old mantra in the security world that anything can be hacked. And the more complex our devices become, the more methods hackers dream up to break into them. Case in point: A team of researchers can use sound waves to control anything from a smartphone (seriously) to a car (theoretically). Read More >>

tractor beam
How to Make Your Own Sonic Tractor Beam at Home

We’ve all been there: building a scale model of the Death Star in our basement and thinking, “I just wish this had a tractor beam to grab onto my tiny styrofoam Millennium Falcon.” Now, thanks to a team of scientists, you can put the finishing touches on that model with your very own sonic tractor beam. Okay, maybe we haven’t all been there, but I’m sure someone has been there. Read More >>

3d printing
Simple Software Turns any 3D-Printed Model Into a Playable Instrument

You no longer have to be a Stradivarius, a Gibson, or even a Steinway to make your own musical instruments. Anyone with access to a 3D printer and this simple software, developed by Autodesk Research, can turn any 3D model into a wind instrument capable of playing a variety of different notes. Read More >>

audio
How to Get The Best Sound Quality From Your Laptop

Whether you’re gaming, watching movies, or streaming Spotify, there are likely to be times when your laptop’s default sound setup doesn’t quite hit the highs and lows you’re looking for. If you don’t want to settle for subpar audio any longer, there are ways to improve it, and we’ve outlined some of the best below. Read More >>

space
Here’s What Being on Mars Sounds Like

None of us will probably ever make it to the red planet but if you want to get a feel for what Mars would sound like (or hear what it’s like from inside an airlock), saddle up with this video from Cody’s Lab. Read More >>

audio
Obsessed Audiophiles in Japan are Installing Their Own Power Poles to Improve Sound

To an audiophile, there’s no such thing as ‘too expensive’ if it means an upgrade to their setup could improve their listening experience. And in Japan, some acoustic connoisseurs are now installing their own utility poles, with custom transformers, to ensure all of their audio gear is getting the purest power possible. Read More >>

watch this
What is Music and Why is it So Special?

Radiolab’s Jad Abumrad sits down to talk about music — its purpose, its function, its meaning — with film-maker Mac Premo in this wildly frenetic video and somehow manages to explain why music is so special. Read More >>

audio
These Glass Speakers Work Like Magic

Turtle Beach’s Hypersound Glass speakers use a sheet of transparent glass to drive sound in a highly focused beam directly in front of them while being inaudible outside the beam’s range. Welcome to never knowing why you’re hearing ads all the time — our Blade Runner hell-future has arrived. Read More >>

gaming
It’s Nuts How Much Work Went Into Making the Sounds for Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End is the closing chapter of Nathan Drake’s treasure hunting adventures. The game is made by Naughty Dog, a developer known more recently for the survival thriller The Last of Us. The unifying thread among developer’s projects is that they’re exceptionally cinematic, even more so than most other big budget games. With the ambitious goal of recreating reality, the process of producing sound for such a game can be as daunting as making the game itself. Read More >>