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Proximaural Loudspeakers (-Nearphones-)

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Mass loading and an open back are employed to achieve good bass response in the near field of a small reproducer for use near but not touching the ear. For good bass, conventional headphones require an airtight seal to the ear, which is unreliable and unfomfortable. This requirement is eliminated with Nearphones. Potential applications include stereo, studio monitoring and personal audio for exhibits.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society