The Shifting Soundscape Of War

Jun 22, 2017

We often think of the battlefield as a place of chaos, where the explosive sounds of gunfire ring out over commands. But the technology of warfare is changing and so is the sound.


At the Camp Lejeune Marine Corps Base in Jacksonville, N.C. hundreds of marines are participating in a large-scale sound experiment. They are using suppressors – popularly referred to as silencers – to muffle and mask the trademark sounds of their weapons. Coupled with the altered weapons, some are also testing a bionic headset that takes in sound, processes it digitally, and reduces the volume of noises that are dangerously loud, like gunfire. This technology also helps pick up soft sounds like whispers or footsteps.

Host Frank Stasio speaks with WUNC military reporter Jay Price about the innovations in military sound technology.