Frequently Asked Questions

Music

Great, awesome question. You are obviously a person of great discernment.

One of the most rewarding things about listening to familiar music with Kannons is the series of omigod moments when you realize that there are sounds in there you’ve never heard before.  We have lots of unlikely examples, but you’ll find plenty of your own.  Fact is, tactile bass is an essential part of almost all music.  Ever hear an acoustic guitar player slap the soundboard while playing?  Deep bass.

One of the most important differences between Kannons and every other headphone that offers strong bass response is that Kannons do NOT sacrifice accurate midrange response at the altar of powerful bass.

Think of perceiving music as equivalent to perceiving food. We think of food as something we taste.  But hold your nose while eating an onion, and you might think you are eating an apple.  Scent is incredibly important. Appreciating food is a multi-sensory experience. And just as your sense of smell is an essential aspect of enjoying food, your sense of touch is an essential aspect of enjoying music.

Taction Technology

The secondary transducers in some other headphones can’t deliver a high-fidelity bass experience. They have uneven frequency response, are slow, and aren’t very powerful.  So we won’t object if you call THEM gimmicks.  Taction is different.  Our patented Transporters offer excellent impulse response, frequency response that is flat down to 15Hz, and are 20x more powerful than any previous tactile transducer.  So Transporters are NOT a gimmick.

Yes.  In fact, there’s lots of evidence that using Taction is much better than cranking your amp up to 11.  Most people listen at lower, safer volume levels WITH our tech than without it. (One caveat:  if you have a pacemaker, or any serious health issue, you should talk to your doctor before using Transporter-equipped headphones.)

Taction is physical vibration of the skin. Transporter-equipped headphones like the Kannon produce the sensation of deep bass the same way the real world does — not just with sound, but by vibrating the skin.  For a longer technical explanation, go here.

Taction works beautifully for most people, but not quite 100%.  We are all born with the perceptual wiring to appreciate vibration as sound.  Some of us develop it to an extraordinary degree, but a few people lose that wiring as they get older.

Kannon Headphones

Very.

Other headphones have used secondary bass drivers that are smaller, slower and weaker than our patented Transporters.  The longer technical explanation is here, but we are very confident in saying that no other headphone has ever delivered this much power with this kind of accuracy.

But that’s just us.  Look at what reviewers say.

Yes.  Some noisy PCs might put enough noise onto the power line that it might be audible. If it is a problem, you can use one of these to filter out the noise.

Order Kannons here.

Gaming

About 60 milliseconds. A person will have a range or reaction times for a given task.  For example, to click a left or right mouse button when hearing a sound on the left or right side, it commonly takes 150-400 milliseconds for the person to hear the sound, pick the side, and flex the finger.  Adding Taction takes that normal range, and shifts it, typically by speeding it up by about 60 milliseconds.  Typical results for three players doing this task are shown below.

Yes, if you are serious about your gaming.  It’s the difference between a playable latency (e.g., 50 milliseconds, perfectly fine), and a latency that makes the game unplayable (e.g., 110 milliseconds, disaster). On CNET, experienced gamers report they can tell the difference between 20 milliseconds and 50 milliseconds of lag.  Taction won’t make a bad network connection good, but it does remove a source of latency in your body.  It reduces the time you need to locate sound sources and take action.

Because a touch on the right side of your body is always “from the right.”  But sound from the right reaches both ears, almost equally.  It’s true that we have a built-in auditory processing to help locate sounds, but adding the sense of touch makes it easier. It adds, at minimum, a “Tactile Interaural Level Difference” to the acoustic cues we use to locate sound. With audio-tactile processing and our uniquely expressive hardware, we can actually provide much more than a level difference, but a tactile level difference is a big step.

Look, we can’t guarantee that.  Depends on you, depends on the game. But the science is solid. One early reviewer said:

 Competitive gamers must get these headphones…. I might as well have seen through the walls.

Fact is, we don’t know.  We do know that it’s often found in user studies that tactile signals let people react faster than visual or auditory signals (see, for example [1]).  We also know that the part of the brain that processes touch (somatosensory cortex) is right next to the part that moves your body (motor cortex).  The part that processes sound is farther away, and the part that processes vision is even farther (see figure below).

We also know that the spatial clarity and fast processing time of the tactile channel works well for military pilots [2], and that it is an ongoing area of military research and development [3].

[1] D. Hecht, M.Reiner, G. Halevy, “Multi-Modal Stimulation, Response Time, and Presence”. Presence 2005.

Tactile Situation Awareness System Flight Demonstration. No. USAARL-2004-10. ARMY AEROMEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT RUCKER AL, 2004. Available online 10/132014 at http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a422198.pdf

[3] John Chiasson, B.Sc., Braden J. McGrath, Ph.D., Angus H. Rupert, M.D., Ph.D.Enhanced Situation Awareness in Sea, Air and Land.Environments. DTIC Report; Naval Medical Research Laboratory FL. Available Online 10/13/2015 at http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/aam/cami/library/online_libraries/aerospace_medicine/sd/media/mp-086-32.pdf

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