The acoustic design of the Whispering Gallery lets you talk in the quietest of voices to someone across the room—and be heard perfectly.

A Museum favorite since 1938, the acoustic Whispering Gallery still sounds as good as it looks. You and a friend stand with your backs to each other at either end of this long room. When you whisper into the curved dish in front of you, your friend across the room hears you as though you are just inches away. No wires, no power. Can you figure out how it works?

Direct your sound anywhere but a focus point
and it will ricochet in an echo.
More about the exhibit

Bouncing Off the Walls

The design is as clever as the execution is simple. With brass footprints telling you where to stand, it's easy to use and hard to stop testing. The secret is in the gallery's ellipsoid shape. The dishes are at ellipse focal points, and use the curved gallery walls to direct the reflection of your sound. Can you find the paths in which the sound waves travel? Experiment in other spots of the room—it is like sound design with just the power of your voice.