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Japanese audio device maker's anechoic chambers perfect bubbles of soundlessness

An electromagnetic anechoic chamber to test products' radio waves is seen at Audio-Technica Fukui Co. in Echizen, Fukui Prefecture, on Oct. 29, 2021. (Mainichi/Ryoichi Mochizuki)=Click/tap photo for more images.

ECHIZEN, Fukui -- Enjoy the silence. That might be the motto for a set of eerie white rooms at a Japanese audio equipment maker's facility here, designed as they are to eliminate all sound and electromagnetic interference from beyond their walls.

    Audio-Technica Fukui Co.'s electromagnetic anechoic chambers are designed to measure the radio waves emitted by devices such as microphones and wireless earphones at very high precision, so that the company can be sure they comply with each country's different radio emissions standards. That means that the rooms -- each 8.6 meters high by 20 m long and 12 wide -- must block out external electromagnetic interference.

    The company was founded 51 years ago as a production subsidiary of Audio-Technica Corp. It mainly manufactures record player needles, but also has lines of general audio equipment including microphones, headphones, amplifiers and speakers. Its microphones are even used at the Japanese prime minister's office.

    With the popularization of smartphones and video streaming services such as YouTube, the demand for wireless earphones and headphones have been increasing worldwide.

    Audio-Technica Fukui's Managing Director Takumi Tanishita, 58, commented: "We boast a range of high-quality technologies that can be used in products ranging from analogue to digital. We aim to develop higher quality products as online conferences and teleworking are becoming increasingly common amid the coronavirus pandemic."

    (Japanese original by Ryoichi Mochizuki, Osaka Photo Department)

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