Unique wide-band receiver that breaks away from traditional radios by capturing the entire electromagnetic spectrum without filtering, enabling users to experience the full range of interference and radiation in their environment. Drawing inspiration from early 20th-century radios, it boasts a compact, lightweight design with exceptional battery life and combines aesthetics with high-quality craftsmanship. Equipped with dual sensing components for radiation and external antenna pins in Ether V2 for diverse sound experiences, it also features dual control wheels for precise sound adjustment. Unlike simple inductive sniffers, the Ether functions as a true radio wave receiver, sensitive even to digital circuitry in close proximity, with output via a 3.5mm stereo jack, making it a versatile and distinctive tool for perceiving the electromagnetic world.
At a glance
- Wide-band receiver capable of perceiving the entire electromagnetic spectrum.
- Unconventional "anti-radio" functionality captures all interference and radiation without filtering.
- Enables live electromagnetic field listening and recording.
- Draws inspiration from early 1900s radios, lacking tuning wheels.
- Compact and lightweight design, pocket-sized (103x58x17mm), and lightweight (73g with batteries).
- Exceptional battery life, with over 300 hours using alkaline or lithium batteries.
- Attention to aesthetics and high-quality craftsmanship in design.
- Dual sensing components for radiation: magnetic and electric.
- Ether V2 features external antenna pins for unique sound experiences.
- Dual control wheels for precise sound adjustment and volume control.
- Differentiates from simple inductive sniffers, functioning as a true radio wave receiver.
- Sensitive to digital circuitry in close proximity.
- Output via a 3.5mm stereo jack with L and R contacts connected in parallel (mono output).
The SOMA Ether is a wide-band receiver designed to allow users to perceive the electromagnetic landscape surrounding them.
Unconventional Anti-Radio Functionality
Functioning as an unconventional form of anti-radio, the SOMA Ether does not discriminate among radio signals like traditional radios. Instead, it captures all forms of interference and radiation within the electromagnetic spectrum, from hertz to gigahertz. Unlike radios equipped with tuned input circuits that filter out unwanted frequencies, the Ether captures radio waves "as is," allowing it to detect the unintentional electromagnetic emissions created by human activity. This unique capability enables live electromagnetic field listening and recording.
Drawing Inspiration from Early Radios
The inspiration for the Ether project draws from the design of early 1900s radios, which lacked tuning wheels and were primarily used for Morse code transmissions. Each transmitter at that time had its distinct timbre or "voice," making it possible to distinguish them by ear.
Compact and Efficient Design
Regarding physical attributes, the Ether is pocket-sized, measuring 103x58x17mm, and is lightweight at 73g with batteries. It operates on two AAA batteries, and its remarkable energy efficiency is evident from the fact that the initial set of alkaline batteries in the prototype lasted for six years. It has a battery life of over 300 hours when using alkaline or lithium batteries.
Attention to Aesthetics and Quality
Considerable attention has been given to the design of the Ether, making it a unique accessory for the modern conscious individual. Crafted with specially designed European enclosures and high-quality PCB and furniture, the Ether offers a distinctive sound experience and an aesthetically pleasing, high-quality gadget.
Dual Sensing Components for Radiation
The Ether incorporates both magnetic and electric components for sensing radiation. Its built-in magnetic antenna, reminiscent of the antennas used in early long-wave radios, offers maximum sensitivity along the Ether's axis. Altering the Ether's orientation, angle, and position will result in changes in the captured sound. The electric component features antennas printed on the PCB and special input pins on the front surface.
Enhanced Antenna Capabilities in Ether V2
Ether V2 introduces two external antenna pins, allowing users to touch conductive materials or surfaces, including their bodies, to function as a large external antenna. This unique feature produces varied sounds, and experimenting with different metal objects or materials, such as rails, tubes, metallic doors, or parts of buildings, can yield intriguing results. The two pins are connected to different points in the circuit and interact differently with electromagnetic waves. Switching between them or using both simultaneously allows users to manipulate the captured sound. In less urban settings, connecting a piece of wire measuring 1-4 meters to one of the pins can yield fascinating auditory experiences.
Precise Sound Control with Dual Wheels
The Ether V2 has two control wheels for adjusting sound and power settings. The upper wheel controls high-frequency amplification and regeneration, allowing users to focus the Ether on different levels of surrounding interference and obtain rich and captivating soundscapes. The lower wheel adjusts the volume.
More Than an Inductive Sniffer
Unlike simple inductive sniffers found online, the Ether is not limited to close-range scanning. While it can perceive low-frequency magnetic fields, its unique regenerative circuit and demodulator distinguish it as a true radio wave receiver rather than a mere amplifier of low-frequency fields. However, the Ether can also detect the electric component of radiation, capturing frequencies well beyond the audio range with higher sensitivity. Consequently, it is designed for use during urban walks and can even pick up sounds in forested or coastal environments.
Sensitivity to Digital Circuitry and Recording
The Ether's sensitivity to nearby digital circuitry necessitates precautions, such as maintaining a minimum distance of 30 cm/1 ft from other electronic devices like phones, laptops, or recorders. Nevertheless, it functions effectively even when carried alongside such devices in pockets and bags.
Versatile Output and Recording
The Ether's output is a standard 3.5mm stereo jack with parallel L and R contacts, resulting in a mono output. To record Ether's output, users should connect it to a recording device, such as a ZOOM recorder, using an audio cable at least 1m/3ft in length. Although Ether can produce distinct sounds when connected to recording equipment, the purest experience is achieved with headphones. Some sounds, however, may remain best experienced through personal perception.