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An Introduction to 3D Sound

An Introduction to 3D Sound: What is Immersive Audio?

The world of technology moves so incredibly fast that it can sometimes be hard to keep up. Audio is a huge part of that, and as the music industry has grown immensely alongside technology over the past decade – along with the gaming and video industries – there is always a need to keep pushing boundaries. Audio manufacturers have done so by creating immersive audio. Immersive audio is audio designed not just to come from one source…

An Introduction to 3D Sound

An Introduction to 3D Sound: What is Immersive Audio?

The world of technology moves so incredibly fast that it can sometimes be hard to keep up. Audio is a huge part of that, and as the music industry has grown immensely alongside technology over the past decade – along with the gaming and video industries – there is always a need to keep pushing boundaries. Audio manufacturers have done so by creating immersive audio. Immersive audio is audio designed not just to come from one source…

Guide: How To Listen To Music in Surround Sound or Immersive Audio

There are many different ways that you can play immersive audio music, ranging from an AV receiver, to your computer, to your gaming device, and even to your cell phone! As immersive audio continues to evolve, the technology solutions and compatible devices for playback will multiply even further. Despite the plethora of present solutions, audiophiles often find that playing music in immersive audio is a bit more difficult or inaccessible than they anticipate, so we set out to create a guide for you.

How To Listen To Music in Surround Sound or Immersive Audio
How To Listen To Music in Surround Sound or Immersive Audio

Guide: How To Listen To Music in Surround Sound or Immersive Audio

There are many different ways that you can play immersive audio music, ranging from an AV receiver, to your computer, to your gaming device, and even to your cell phone! As immersive audio continues to evolve, the technology solutions and compatible devices for playback will multiply even further. Despite the plethora of present solutions, audiophiles often find that playing music in immersive audio is a bit more difficult or inaccessible than they anticipate, so we set out to create a guide for you.

[Glossary]

Ambisonics is a surround sound format that uses B-format to enable adaptable 3-D sound for a variety of speaker configurations

B-format is a speaker-independent representation of sound fields. Using this feature of ambisonics, the sound engineer can code using directional cues that will be decoded by a listener’s individual speaker, versus hardwiring in directional instructions for a set speaker configuration

Audio Encoding is the process of changing audio files from one format to another. Audio has two broad formats: compressed and uncompressed. Most often, encoding refers to going from an uncompressed to compressed format.

Compressed audio has two classifications: lossless and lossy.
“Lossless” audio can be decoded back into the exact uncompressed audio you started with.
“Lossy” audio involves some loss of information.

Audio coding formats refer to the more specific types of audio storage within the compressed and uncompressed categories.  Examples of audio coding formats include MP3, AAC, Vorbis, FLAC, and Opus.

Binaural audio is a form of audio that records/plays back two channels arranged with the intent to relay a 3-D effect for the listener.

Dolby Atmos is a proprietary object-based audio format and platform developed by Dolby Laboratories. Atmos refers to an expansive and connected network of systems such as mixing software, specifications for cinema speaker arrays, and immersive audio hardware for home listening.

HRTF stands for Head-Related Transfer Function. This term refers to the effect your head and ears have on the way you perceive sounds. Variation in a sound’s direction creates differences in phase and frequency which our brains recognize and use to locate the origin of the sound. Immersive audio can mirror the results of HRTF to give the perception that sound is coming from all around, even if it may be coming from a finite number of channels.

Object-Based Audio is another approach to surround sound that breaks audio down into individual objects and uses meta-data to encode the connection between the objects, allowing for the audio to be played back accurately across a variety of systems.

Quadraphonic sound is a form of surround sound that uses 4 speakers – each in a different corner of the listening space – to play back independent signals creating an immersive effect for the listener.

Spatial audio is a classification of methods used to achieve surround sound. These methods include the binaural and object-based approaches to 360 degree audio.

5.1

The “5” refers to the number of audio channels; “1” indicates one subwoofer channel. Surround systems come in 5.1, 7.1, and more audio channels, but typically, a single subwoofer is all that is necessary for recreational use.