Turtle Beach HyperSound: Listen without being heard thanks to 'sound beam' tech

We all know that feeling when you want to watch telly but fear the volume will keep others awake. You could wear headphones but probably don't have a wire long enough. Now Turtle Beach has acquired Parametric Sound Corporation's know-how to make that issue a thing of the past.

On the Turtle Beach stand at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is an unassuming TV set-up with HyperSound audio technology. On entering the stand nothing could be heard, except for the general chatter of trade show noise in the background. But sit in the specifically positioned seat in front of that TV, and you descended into a world of audio that only you can hear. 

It's a strange experience, and one that makes you want to shout back at other people talking to you, but oh so cool as a concept. It's not totally ready in its current state, in our view, because the quality of the audio did sound a little "stressed" compared to usual sound systems. 

But it's clever stuff. It works by using a thin film to generate an ultrasonic beam of sound that can be positioned to target a specific location. Enter that location and you pick up the sound. But just because it's generated from thin film doesn't mean the breadth of the frequency range is killed - we still got enough booming bass.

Turtle Beach is known as a gaming headset company. So how it will go on to use the technology in its future products remains to be seen. But we like companies experimenting with technology and this little CES experiment brought a smile to our face.