December 24, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger
Take a seat: It’s going to be a bumpy ride. The makers of BodySound Technology don’t want you to just hear a movie soundtrack—they want you to feel the surround sound.
The Minnesota-based company has developed an “experiential seating” theater recliner that features built-in speakers and amplification.
The BodySound chairs include a pair of speakers positioned by your ears, two vertically aligned speakers behind your spine, and a larger seat-cushion speaker that forms a sound cocoon. Audio from a BodyLink receiver can be sent to the sub-seat amplifier wirelessly or through optical cable, stereo speaker wire or Category 5 cable. A pair of external speakers can be added for seven-channel surround sound, and if you want multiple seats in a room, the audio gets routed to the lead seat amplifier and is daisy-chained to additional chairs.
A BodyNumber system analyzes sound frequencies and lets you control the level of vibrations so you can feel like you’re in the football huddle or car chase or relaxing at a jazz concert. There’s also SoundNumber technology that can regulate the volume so you’re not blasted during commercials or constantly changing levels during loud or quiet passages. A MiniLink Controller provides push-button access to presets, BodyNumber settings, master volume and SoundNumber settings, and seatback and leg rest adjustments.
“Because you sit where the sound originates, you can hear every little detail in the soundtrack or musical score,” says company founder Ellen Cohen. “Everyone gets to sit in their own surround-sound sweet spot and set the volume to their liking.”
The company touts the chair’s prowess as a video gamer haven, with the combination of comfort and technology. “We developed BodySound technology for profound relaxation and to personalize the home theater experience, but we were blown away when we plugged an Xbox into a BodySound chair,” says CEO Dan Cohen.
The web site (www.bodysoundchair.com) includes a custom configurator, and Cohen says average cost is about $4,000 to $6,000 per model (love seats are available too), covered in Italian leather.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
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