The [David Bowie Is] exhibition itself is designed thoughtfully and executed with a fair amount of technologically forward-leaning imagination, especially the audio component. Each visitor is issued a pair of over-the-ear headphones (Sennheiser is a prominent sponsor of the show) attached to a Bluetooth receiver that automatically plays audio based on your specific location within the exhibition halls at any given time. Step towards one artifact and you might hear one of Bowie’s many immortal songs; step towards a different one and you might hear an excerpt from his appearance on an old TV show synced with a video projected on the wall. Everything changes automatically; all you need to do is walk and look.
I would’ve loved having a set-up like this when I visited, as I did recently, the National Museum of African-American History and Culture (NMAAHC seems to be the official acronym, but wow that’s ugly). The museum has an astonishingly rich and varied soundscape: music of all kinds, interviews, speeches. But often the sounds conflict with one another: it can be difficult to position yourself in such a way that the clip you want to hear is clearly audible above the other clips that are playing nearby.