Press Portal

Why do humans have two ears? A podcast series about the nomination for the 2012 German Future Prize

on .



Each of the three audio plays involves a mysterious case, which the investigator Edgar Auris has to solve with the help of experts at Auditory Valley.
Listeners will only be able to experience the different effects of binaural hearing in the audio play by listening to the podcast with headphones. "The so-called dummy head recording technique gives listeners the feeling that they are part of the story," explains Prof. Dr. Dr. Birger Kollmeier, highlighting what makes the audio play special. "We want to show how important binaural hearing is for human communication."
The team lead by Prof. Kollmeier was nominated by a high-ranking panel of judges for the final round of the 2012 German Future Prize, the "Best of the Best". The renowned science award is bestowed by the Federal President for particularly successful work in technology and innovation, which achieves outstanding results in science and leads to products that shape the future.
The specific development honoured by this nomination is obvious and evident, and yet extremely complex in its execution: the interaction of both ears in hearing also has to be taken into account in hearing aids. This interaction – also known as binaural hearing – is fundamental to good spatial hearing. As with sight, it is the interaction between the left and the right ear, which creates spatial perception. The podcast series illustrates these processes, which occur automatically in hearing in everyday life.
"Our goal is to make the fascinating mechanics of human hearing accessible to the public – we chose the podcast series as an entertaining, but not overly scientific medium."

The first episode of the series, "Beethoven listens" is on the Auditory Valley website and can be downloaded free to all major podcast directories. The exciting time up to the announcement of the winner of the 2012 German Future Prize on 28th November is sweetened by the release of another episode "Duet for two Contra-tenors Opus 1 – the Higgins Duet" on 27th November. The third episode, "Enigma Variations," will be released in early December.