Shiftall, a Japanese company, has unveiled its latest product, the Mutalk. However, its design has sparked some intrigue.
Virtual reality is trucking along at its own pace. The various headsets and accessories are all in aid of making the metaverse or VR experiences easier to use. However, a Japanese company Shiftall has a fascinating approach to microphones.
The Mutalk is a Meta Quest-looking device that straps over your mouth, providing you with a sealed microphone to prevent ambient sound from leaking in. It doesn’t seem to just be aimed solely at VR though, with Shiftall providing lifestyle photos and even a trailer of people using it for meetings and gaming.
The idea around the headset, despite its overtly questionable design, is legitimately very cool. It uses what’s called the Helmholtz resonator principle.
Essentially, the Mutalk has dampening inside it, to prevent the noise from also leaking out. So not only is there sound reduction coming in but also up to -30 decibels can be prevented from interrupting the surrounding area.
It apparently costs around $200 and is Bluetooth-enabled. There’s a USB-C charging port and a 3.5mm jack, presumably to connect it to non-wireless devices.
Currently, the main issue appears to be that the Mutalk looks like it does.
Japanese reactions to the Mutalk
While others in Japan have already gotten their hands on the device, with some samples of the sound actually featuring on Twitter for the last week or so. While Vtubers and VRChat users are seemingly taking it in stride, the sound quality is a little iffy in some of the videos.
One user appears to have skipped on the Mutalk altogether and cobbled their own version. They say it uses a gas mask and their own microphone. It also revealed to us, that this isn’t the first time this type of product has come out from Japan.
Another, Voicease, is a portable vacuum-looking device with a dynamic microphone strapped in it. The trailer features the same points as Mutalks, although the overall design is a little cumbersome.