science
‘Cuban Sonic Attack’ Study Finds Brain Differences in Victims – but Don’t Put on Your Tinfoil Hat Yet

In late 2016, US diplomats at the American embassy in Havana, Cuba began coming down with unexplained symptoms, including nausea, headaches, and hearing loss. Some also claimed to have heard mysterious sounds just prior to their symptoms, fuelling a theory by some US officials and the media that a “sonic weapon” aimed at the diplomats could have been to blame. Yet no concrete evidence of any potential physical cause for their symptoms has emerged so far, let alone a sonic or microwave weapon. Read More >>

space
What Do Mars Rovers Sound Like?

Before meeting its end in a planet-circling dust storm, the Opportunity rover traversed nearly 30 miles over the perilous Martian surface. In some ways, we travelled along with Oppy thanks to the thousands of images it sent back to Earth. But what did Oppy’s journey sound like? Read More >>

audio
Samsung’s New Galaxy Buds Almost Give AirPods a Run for Their Money

Everybody loves to compare the new Samsung Galaxy Buds to Apple’s AirPods. It’s pretty obvious. Samsung and Apple make popular phones, and now both companies have truly wireless earbuds to pair with them. I’ve spent two weeks with the $130 Galaxy Buds. They’re frankly pretty awesome. But are they better than AirPods? That depends on who’s using them. Read More >>

science
What’s the Loudest Sound in the Universe?

The human tolerance for sound is, on a galactic level, puny. Volcano eruptions, jackhammer-intensive construction work, My Bloody Valentine concerts – these tinnitus-inducing phenomena are barely whispers besides the majestic, roiling bursts and collisions going on in outer space. Read More >>

gadgets
Blue’s Yeti Nano Is a Shrunken Down Version of the Popular Podcasting and YouTuber Mic

The prefix nano- calls to mind something microscopic. Tiny robots invisible to the eye, or an iPod many orders smaller than its predecessors. When I hear the word I expect tiny. Apparently when Blue, the respected studio microphone maker that has spent nearly a decade producing great USB mics, hears the word nano- it expects “slightly smaller than the big guy.” Read More >>

science
Can a Loud Noise Really Bring Down a Data Centre?

This week, a Nasdaq Nordic stock exchange data centre in Finland was taken down by its fire suppression system. But these systems don’t use water to quench the flames, so how can they knock out a bunch of hard drives? Read More >>

google
Google Buys UK-Based Phone Screen Speaker Startup

Some lucky tech developer in Cambridge has achieved the cashing-out dream, with no less a cash bag than Google agreeing to buy the mad-sounding speaker technology created by Redux. Read More >>

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 >>