While our Hear Birds Again performs the necessary pitch-shifting of high bird songs, it is critically important to use our app in conjunction with a special “binaural headset” having microphones mounted at each ear that allow shifted bird songs to be heard in a natural three-dimensional space, thereby making it possible to accurately judge distances and directions and then go find and observe the singers. Refer to The Headset Conundrum for a more complete discussion.
A Well Designed Binaural Headset is Key to Hearing Pitch-Lowered Bird Songs in 3D Space and Being Able to Find and Observe the Singing Birds!
Unfortunately, there are no “perfect” pre-built binaural headsets currently available in the marketplace, but there are two workable solutions:
1. The Ambeo Smart Headset:
Although no longer being manufactured, the Ambeo Smart Headset, is still available (at least for awhile) and provides an inexpensive “plug-and-play” binaural headset solution (doesn’t require anything additional), with a purchase price as low as $50 US. The primary drawback is that it is equipped with microphones that are notably hissy, which can be annoying in quiet outdoor situations and may also be loud enough to obscure faint and distant bird songs. The Ambeo also plugs the ears somewhat, which may slightly muffle one’s normal hearing. In spite of these problems, the Ambeo provides a fairly decent binaural listening experience.
Learn More About the Ambeo Smart Headset
2. The High-Fidelity Binaural Headset (kit):
In order to provide a “near-perfect” high-fidelity solution, we have come up with an optimized design that utilizes super low-noise microphones and loose-fitting headphones that do not plug one’s ears. We call it the High-Fidelity Binaural Headset solution, and it is now available in kit form. While it is expensive in comparison to the Ambeo (around $175 vs $50) and requires some assembly (mostly the final twisting of cables), it undoubtedly provides the most pleasurable user-experience in the field, including superior “localization” of the high-pitched singers and extremely quiet and sensitive microphones that aid in the detection of distant and subtle bird songs. If you’re really into birds and are unafraid of the assembly aspect, we strongly suggest you take this route.