hero image

An era of everything powered by artificial intelligence is shaping out nicely. The technology has already found its way into cancelling unnecessary noises in crowded places. A team of researchers at the University of Washington have developed an AI-powered headphone that allows users to concentrate only on a single voice or sound.

Binaural Headphones

Upon wearing the headphones, one only needs to concentrate on a person they wish to hear for three to five seconds, and the headphones will be able to settle on their voice and decipher what they are saying. The binaural headphones can zero in on a target speaker even in a crowded space by blocking all the other voices.

The AI-powered headphones operate under the ‘Look Once to Hear’ feature, capturing a short, noisy binaural recording of the target speaker. In the end, the headphones learn the unique voice of the target speaker even in the presence of interfering speakers.

The groundbreaking technology has already been showcased at the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems. The technology boasts tremendous potential and use, such as picking a particular voice or speech while walking on a noisy street or struggling to hear a tour guide clearly in a bustling museum.

Nevertheless, the potential of technology to help people struggling with hearing impairments promises to be a game changer. Such people could listen to easily in crowded places and participate in conversations.


Nevertheless, the game-changing technology has some limitations. It is tailored to concentrate on just one speaker at a time. Future developments need to be broadened to accommodate several speakers by registering each one individually. The system also presupposes the absence of other dominant interfering speakers that are aligned with the target during the registration phase.

Additionally, the system is built on the assumption that the speech features of the target speaker will stay relatively steady from the time of registration to the time of use. Significant alterations, such as those caused by emotions or health conditions, could affect its performance. Nonetheless, the brief interval between registration and application helps to minimize this problem.