Anechoic Chamber

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Anechoic Chamber

Here is a little puzzle for your mind. Have you truly heard absolute silence?

What is an anechoic chamber? An-echoic meaning non-echoing or echo-free is a room designed to completely absorb reflections of either sound or electromagnetic waves. They are also insulated from exterior sources of noise. The combination of both aspects means they simulate a quiet open-space of infinite dimension.

Being in one is the closest you will get to hearing absolute silence as it is so quiet in the chamber you can hear the sounds your body makes e.g. the sound of the blood circulating in your head or the high pitch hiss which is caused by the activity in the auditory nerve fibres within your brain.

The rooms are designed to test the performance of ear plugs, loudspeakers, microphones, car exhausts sounds, etc.

When you decide to talk in the room, your voice will sound like when your ears need to pop on an aircraft. The walls, floor and ceiling are covered in the wedged foam to absorb all the sound reflections which would reverberant in a normal wall.

This is definitely one of those things you have to experience for yourself but this is not one to experience if you are claustrophobic.  In the UK, The University of Southampton can arrange visits to their own Anechoic Chamber. If you know of any other places in the UK where you can experience this, we would be happy to hear about them also.

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