The seatbelt with headphones attached to the head

Editor – Ticket Monthly is a CNN travel series that explores some of the most exciting topics in the travel world. In June, we take to the skies to check out the latest in aircraft, with people working to change the way we fly.

Hamburg, Germany (CNN) – With wireless headphones becoming ubiquitous, standard wireless headphones with their cords and multi-pronged jack plugs seem to be very old.

Of course, you can now pair personal headphones with some fun inflight systems, but your batteries may last longer than the long -haul, or you may want to lose your precious headphones. to the seatbelt, it will no longer be seen. ?

Enter Euphony, a new aircraft design concept from French aircraft designer Safran Seats, in collaboration with audio technology company Devialet.

Euphony eliminates the need for a personalized headset. Instead, speakers are housed at the head of each seat, with sound levels that are recorded so that passengers can enjoy their choice of fun on the plane without being overheard. And not to be disturbed by their neighbors.

Safran launched the concept this month at the Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) in Hamburg, Germany and CNN Travel had the opportunity to enter the Euphony “knowledge room” to try out what it could be. the new generation of inflight fun.

Please set up

Euphony is designed for business or first grade.

Euphony is designed for business or first grade.


At first glance, the AIX prototype looks like a standard aircraft seat. Safran has made some beautiful changes to the head design.

But the difference becomes apparent when the inflight fun begins. The sound began to explode outside the head rest, ending the aircraft that had previously recorded the sound through the observation room.

The screen plays the booming movie for the new Marvel movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” The airwaves play in the header, before the system converts to two different audio tracks, including a podcast, for comparison.

It takes me a little while to get the head in the right place – for the best sound, you want to be close to your ears.

But when it comes to the right setting, personal speakers know better. The sound of the aircraft engine was supposed to be the last sound and I focused on what I saw and heard.

Euphony isn’t a substitute for a feel like a cocoon of voice-canceling headphones, but it’s a fun set up and more like the experience of watching a movie in your bed. This is great if you are flying with someone else and you want to talk and talk while you are watching a movie.

In the AIX viewing room, it’s hard to decide if there’s no soundtrack – there’s only one Euphony mock -up in place. But the inability to hear sound properly unless you have a head on the side of your ear is shown to be leak-proof, at least in the professional or first class, where the vehicles were separated.

Viewers may want to end up with voice or personal use of their personal headset, but Safran senior architect Paul Wills and his team say the idea behind Euphony offers more options. Travelers can connect personal features to the system via Bluetooth, and headrest speakers work when the seat is fully restored and upright.

The ads will not be broadcast on the plane by head, as they will also be broadcast in the main hall, and the Wills team wants to avoid a “mish-mash of laughter. “

But announcements from the captain or the crew will only end the inflight fun, as is common on airplanes.

A complex design process

Safran teamed up with Devialet audio engineers to complete the sound design.

Safran teamed up with Devialet audio engineers to complete the sound design.


Euphony has been in development for a number of years now, and Wills and his team say the practice has been experimental and collaborative.

When Safran first tried to put the speakers in his head, before Devialet arrived on stage, Wills said the sound quality was “awesome”.

“At that time it was known that we were good living planners, but we weren’t voice planners, so we had to find someone,” he said.

Franck Lebouchard, CEO of Devialet, said the project was “exciting” for his team of voice professionals.

“Airplane is probably the hardest voice you can think of, in terms of frequencies – low frequencies, high frequencies – and voice,” Lebouchard told CNN Travel.

The difficulty of preventing the low and high noise of the aircraft at any time is what prompted the company to develop the Euphony without the noise-canceling technology- the fans wanted design to avoid blocking one frequency and not increasing another.

But Safran and Devialet say Euphony will now be editing in real time to cover the house noise, and newcomers are looking to improve the soundtrack.

Another difficulty is to ensure the best sound quality, at the lowest weight. Aircraft are constantly trying to avoid other cargoes – to reduce their carbon footprint and avoid excessive costs.

The finished product adds an extra dimension to a front seat, and for this reason Euphony is a professional and first gift, at least for now.

“It’s probably not worth it right now to be economical, clean and simple because it’s so heavy,” Wills said.

But in the future, the company hopes they can better address the trend of low -cost stores.

“There’s a clear demand for that,” Wills said.

Safran has a showcase partner aircraft, which will launch production in their first classrooms and industrial buildings in early 2023. Euphony test flights will take place later this year.

The ultimate goal, Wills says, is to make flying as “normal” as possible, adding to the experience of relaxing in your own home.

“When you get home, you don’t go and pat your ears in the evening and watch a movie – don’t you, right? The dog or whatever else you do. You have to. “Free to move. And that’s the idea with this. You sit down, turn on the TV, play a movie – it’s like home.”

The top photo courtesy of Safran

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