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As anyone who works with audio for a living can attest to, the human ear frequently plays tricks on the mind. For example, is it really possible to hide secret messages inside music recordings? If all things audible fascinate you, then you’ll love a new iPad app dedicated to demystifying this and other “auditory illusions.”
The San Francisco-based Exploratorium recently followed up their debut Color Uncovered app with a new offering called Sound Uncovered. The free iPad-only app is billed as an “interactive book,” which allows the user to participate and learn from all kinds of acoustic phenomena around us that’s equal parts fun and educational. Sound Uncovered is essentially a 15-page eBook in the guise of an app containing interactive pages, which you'll explore by tapping on various on-screen objects. In addition to hearing all manner of bumps, beeps, booms, and vrooms, a few of the pages even allow you to make or modify your own recordings and become part of the fun.
The portrait-only app contains a table of contents at front for jumping to specific pages, but a double-tap from anywhere pulls up a navigational layer for quickly getting around from anywhere. Several articles and even a few videos are also included, and while headphones aren’t required, users are encouraged to use them for best results. Sound Uncovered is great fun for adults and kids alike – the app features slick graphics in an easy-to-navigate environment. One of our favorite pages is “Eyes vs. Ears,” which shows how vision can play tricks on the mind by repeating words which sound one way with our eyes open and completely different while closed.
The bottom line. Sound Uncovered is a great way to spend a lazy weekend afternoon, particularly with a good set of headphones. The app serves up the best kind of education for all ages: interactive, fun, and best of all, free!
iPad running iOS 6.0 or later
Great interactive fun with an easy-to-use interface. Some pages allow users to record audio to become part of the fun. Book-style app makes it fun to learn.
App locked to portrait mode only. Could use on-screen guide to clarify navigation layer for first-time users. Only 12 actual pages of interactive content.