The immersive audio you’ve never heard that could revolutionize virtual reality,by Jamie Carter

Image credit: Dirac Research

Surround sound is history. It may have been considered cutting-edge a decade ago, but with most music and video now watched on mobile phones, the fight is on for audio … that moves.

Built around a 360-degree sphere, so-called immersive or spatial audio tech is being designed by the likes of Dirac Research, DTS, Dolby and THX primarily for virtual reality (VR) headsets, but who can ignore the world’s 2.5 billion smartphones? The race is on to produce the definitive format for 3D audio.

What is immersive audio?

Designed primarily for VR, but also for mobile devices, immersive audio has three parts to it.

The first is channels; home cinemas use a 5.1 system to handle front, left, right, left rear, right rear, and a subwoofer, and immersive audio is based initially on that same framework. The only difference is that now it can mimic an 11.1 or higher array.

Ambisonic microphones are used to create immersive audio | Credit: Fraunhofer IIS

Read More: