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October 16, 2010

The PERFECTLY Shaped Human Ear

Well, that is according to the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC). The "perfect" ear also known as IEC TR 60959, was "defined" in 1990 and is used to allow gadget manufacturers to standardise the acoustic performance of their headphones or cellphones. You can purchase this perfect ear here if you were so inclined.

Unfortunately, this perfect ear created in 1990 is actually not so perfect as it was defined using a series of 2D scans, taken at 2mm intervals. That meant individual manufacturers were left the subjective task of filling the gaps between adjacent scans. Consequently, there is variation between different models built to the standard.

Thanks to researchers at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) in Teddington, UK, they have laser scanned a number of ears built to the IEC standard and used these to produce the definitive 3D model which will remove any ambiguity... and be even more perfect than it was before!

Before you ask, this perfect ear was developed through averaging many different peoples' ears.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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