A revolutionary new technology that is taking the audio world by storm, 3D audio.
This is also known as binaural audio, immersive sound or spatial audio.
It’s no wonder it’s the hottest topic in audio right now. Spatial and immersive categories can be found on streaming services such as Apple Music, Tidal, Netflix, Amazon HD and more to come. They are capturing the fascination of the listener with the promise of a new kind of listening experience.
But why is 3D audio so spectacular?
Compared to sight, sound offers total immersion and can be perceived from all directions at once. It is a form of sound designed to be heard in three dimensions, as opposed to the traditional two-dimensional sound most of us are used to. This technology uses a variety of methods to create a realistic and immersive listening experience that can be experienced through headphones or speakers.
Applications of immersive sound reproduction are flourishing in cinemas and homes, recording studios, planetariums, opera houses and outdoor events. And yes, immersive audio allows us to rediscover the true potential of the emotional experience in all its facets. And now it is reaching the creative music production as well.
Immersive formats are designed for consumers, so playback is supported on headphones and many consumer playback devices, such as soundbars and smart speakers.
What are immersive formats for?
Immersive formats are designed to enhance the listening experience for consumers. Playback is supported on any speaker setup and on headphones. So are the most consumer playback devices, such as soundbars and smart speakers.
If no 3D audio speakers can be installed, there is an alternative: the so-called Dolby Atmos enabled set-ups. In this case, “up-firing speakers”, i.e. additional speakers that throw the sound to the ceiling, are used.
But the real champion of all audio listening devices these days are definitely headphones. This means, you don’t need a large speaker setup to listen to immersive music.
This is the new fascination of the 3D sound.
What are the applications of immersive audio?
The 3D audio effect is used wherever realistic spatial sound reproduction is required. Not only in games, films, music and television productions, but also in theatre and opera, live events and performances, the 3D audio experience is becoming increasingly important. 3D audio is an important step in improving the listening experience.
Listening to music through headphones is also becoming increasingly popular. For these music lovers, immersive 3D music mixing in Dolby Atmos is made for them. And it is actively reducing stress.
3D audio – is it worth for medical use?
3D audio is a stimulation and autosuggestion technique and has been developed to effectively help patients with tinnitus. Just as hearing improves perception, 3D audio opens up new possibilities for the treatment of people with hearing loss, dementia, stroke and movement disorders. It contributes to smoother moving and a better sense of well-being.
According to psychological research, people listen to music to balance their mood, realize self-awareness, and express social relations.
Psychologists are calling these the Big Three (reasons) for music listening. They also found that the expression of social relatedness is considerably less important than the other two reasons (National Library of Medicine).
Can I listen to immersive music on headphones?
Yes, in fact the real champion of all audio listening devices for 3D audio these days are definitely headphones. This means, you don’t need a large speaker setup to listen to immersive music. There are rendering capabilities included in the 3D playback system. This means as well, that there are no additional costs.
That’s excellent news, isn’t it?
By listening to immersive music productions, you can experience the fully intended potential expected from the composition. You will have the feeling of being completely surrounded by an immersive musical experience. You are literally bathing in music. A music that is reflecting the emotions in as authentic way.
When it comes to headphones a lot of people like deep, strong bass but most audiophiles usually prefer more accurate, natural sound.
Not everyone has space or money to enjoy real surround sound at home, with 5 or more speakers placed around them, and a subwoofer in the corner. Usually, we watch movies and listen to music with a pair of stereo speakers or headphones. Thankfully, even with those setups, you can still experience 3D audio.