Bret Kinsella on how voice assistants will change our lives and why all brands should care
Have you ever heard the Gutenberg Press and the Amazon Echo mentioned in the same breath before? In this episode, Bret K →
Extreme sports are all about in-your-face action, and nothing takes us closer to it than sound. With a new partnership between Jabra and Red Bull you’ll experience the intensity and emotion of extreme sports like never before.
Close your eyes and just imagine…
Sitting atop the engine of a Formula One race car as it screams past 9,000 RPMs…. The bone-rattling crunch of two football players colliding at full speed…. The explosion of spray as a massive wave crashes over a surfer’s head….
When it comes to extreme sports, the centre of the action is the place to be. And nothing propels us off the couch and directly into the middle of the experience like a crisp
backdrop of sounds. Without audio, we’re just casual observers. But with the volume turned up, we become physically and emotionally immersed in the action.
The power of sound to take us places we’ve never been (and, frankly, probably wouldn’t venture to in our right minds!) has much to do with the evolution of our species.
Loud sounds cause the human sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems to kick into overdrive, dramatically and instantly putting us in a state of alert. In this fight-or-flight mode, pupils dilate, heartbeat picks up and breathing increases – all preparing us to confront, or avoid, the danger our body is sensing.
We experience similar physical responses when we hear the sounds associated with extreme events. It’s why we hold our breath when we hear the roaring sound of a Formula 1 racer at full throttle, all six cylinders hammering, as it tries to overtake on the straights. And why we get goosebumps when we hear the spine-chilling “duunnn dunnn… duunnn duun… duuunnnnnnnn dun dun dun dun dun” from the movie “Jaws.”
Perhaps no organisation has done a more amazing job of putting spectators at the centre of the action than Red Bull. Its brand is virtually synonymous with extreme sports – hair-raising adventures ranging from Formula One and air racing to extreme cliff diving, windsurfing, mountain biking, motocross and, of course, Felix Baumgartner plummeting to earth from the stratosphere in 2012. Its YouTube channel boasts an incredible 7.6 million subscribers, and its subsidiary, Red Bull Media House, produces tons of content focused on sports, lifestyle and people.
So, imagine the delight of everyone here at Jabra when Red Bull Media House approached us with a special request. They were keen to get their hands on the world’s most extreme microphone – one that could separate out massive amounts of wind noise, leaving us spectators to experience only the raw emotion and intensity of adventurers wingsuit-flying through the atmosphere or extreme skiing down a 4,000 meter peak.
In other words, a microphone that puts everyone front and centre to the action.
Only one problem: A wireless microphone like that didn’t exist. Engineering of this magnitude had never been done before, and I wasn’t even sure it was possible. Yes, our Jabra Elite Sport wireless earbuds and Jabra Evolve 80 headsets are engineering marvels, delivering outstanding sound and call clarity in harsh personal-training and corporate environments, respectively. But a microphone that could precisely capture, say, the innermost emotions of a driver and sounds of a Formula One car hurtling 300 km/hour in front of 200,000 full-throated spectators? It wouldn’t be easy.
But our engineering department was not fazed in the slightest. And sure enough, they rose to the challenge. For two years, including plenty of long nights and weekends, they worked closely with Red Bull. It is a partnership that makes plenty of sense, with Red Bull and Jabra sharing a common understanding of how powerful the sound experience is.
Through countless design tweaks and dozens of prototypes, the engineering team perfected a digital signal processing (DSP) algorithm and circuitry that processes audio with amazing clarity before sending it wirelessly to an audio device.
The result is the Jabra X Mic, an intense, one-of-a-kind microphone that is truly “engineered for the extreme.” Listen for yourself – as it recently proved itself on the Red Bull Ring race track in Spielberg in Austria.
And stay tuned: With the Jabra X Mic, Jabra and Red Bull will soon take you inside the action like never before.