CES 2017: Audeze iSine VR Demo
No new headphones per se in the Audeze booth...well, that's not quite right. Sankar Thiagasamudram, Audeze CEO, was carrying around a prototype iSine that used the same diaphragm material as the LCD-4, which was cool, but I digress.
The Captain Billy's Whiz Bang demo of the booth was a virtual reality demo of a new version of their in-ear planar magnetic earphones called the iSine VR, which is compatible with most VR headsets and includes HTC Vive and Oculus Rift compatible cables.
The demo itself was developed by Filmengine, and is an object oriented 3D virtual environment film making tool. Sankar had me note that robots in the environment would interact with me if I looked at them...which they did, and boy was that...weird. The experience was extremely immersive, so much so that I essentially lost track of critical listening and got caught up in what it felt like to be in the virtual environment.
My takeaway from this, and other, virtual experiences I had at CES was that it's going to be a challenge evaluating this type of gear. If personal biases are troublesome when evaluating headphones for audio quality, being thrown into a virtual world intended to make you believe you're somewhere/when else entirely is really going to mess with the part of my brain that tries to objectively evaluate. When the suspension of disbelief is the goaland man, this stuff is powerful in that wayfiguring out what to believe about a products performance is going to be tricky. Sure going to be fun, though.