Acoustic Test Heads
In acoustics, dummy / artificial heads are primarily used to generate binaural recordings. They are also used to test hearing aids and hearing protectors. The heads are designed to replicate the average sized human head and depending on the manufacturer may have a nose and mouth. Each head is typically equipped with silicon / rubber ears, in which small microphones are placed. The leading manufacturers of acoustic / dummy heads for recording and auditory research are: Neumann, Brüel & Kjær, Head Acoustics GmBH, and Knowles Electronics.
Commercially available artificial 'heads' are primarily used for recording and hearing aid testing.
Aerodynamic Testing Heads
Examples of artificial 'heads' used by several cycling helmet manufacturers to test aerodynamics and ventilation.
Custom Aeroacoustic Test Simulators (CATS)
We investigated dummy head options for wind tunnel testing and found none that met our specific needs. For our purposes, a high degree of facial / physical realism was critical - along with a range of 'life like' ear options. While the ability to capture acoustic sound is important, it is even more important to capture wind noise.
Accordingly, we developed our own Custom Acoustic Test Simulators (CATS) for quiet wind tunnel use Our 'heads' are mounted on calibrated swivel plates so we can test our products from 0° (incidence) through 90 degrees. We designed our heads to have a more 'avid cyclist' head position. In addition, the ears need to be extremely realistic - so we use a selection of high quality silicon / rubber ears. Because we perform testing in multiple locations, we have identical 'heads' in Colorado and New Jersey.
Designing our own heads has also allowed us to use the finest miniature microphones - and we incorporate special acoustic absorption materials inside the heads. In addition, our heads have simulated ear canals. This is absolutely critical for minimizing 'false' wind noise (i.e. pseudosound). Our propietary heads have names. Ben and Jerry.
While we have been asked to make a CATS for a major technical university in Norway, we do not, at this point in time, manufacture and sell our proprietary testing equipment. Our second generation CATS are currently being developed and we may make them available for coordinated ear-wind noise research work.
During 2019, we developed an 'initial' second generation CATS. It provides greater flow visualization opportunities.
Safer Cycling Through Sound Engineering™