What is spatial audio and what products support it?

If you are eager to know what spatial audio is and what it is used for and what devices support it, we suggest you don't miss this article. .

BingMag.com What is spatial audio and what products support it?

If you are eager to know what spatial audio is and what it is used for and what devices support it, we suggest you don't miss this article. .

Surrounding sound is a feature that makes watching movies and series or listening to music at home a much more enjoyable process; It is as if you are sitting in a cinema or theater and watching or listening to the content. In simpler words, the sound reaches your ears from all directions (according to the picture above) so that you can be immersed in it. Therefore, it is not surprising that we see that many people are fascinated by this feature and want to experience it at home. It is considered that they do not have such a possibility. This is exactly where spatial audio comes in. Thanks to advanced technology and mechanisms, this feature allows you to have an attractive experience listening to the desired content using your headphones. Without the need to buy multiple speakers.

In this article, we will address 4 questions about surround sound, which are:

  • What is surround sound?
  • How does surround sound work?
  • Is surround sound a valuable feature?
  • What devices support this feature?

What is surround sound?

BingMag.com What is spatial audio and what products support it?

At the beginning of the text, we almost mentioned what surround sound is. This feature is also referred to as "virtual surround" in the sense that you don't have a physical device to receive sound from all over the world, but it has a completely artificial effect. In order to understand how this feature works, you must have basic information about the human ear and its hearing power.

Having two earphones makes the human brain recognize the sound or its source. For example, if a sound reaches your right ear, your right ear will hear it sooner, and in a very short time, the left ear will also recognize it. Both are designed to change the sound and act as another source of information. Our brain simultaneously and unconsciously puts this data together so that we can understand the final result while it is happening in a certain space and time. If we extend these explanations to the speakers, we will see that if we place several speakers in the room, the sound will move from different sources and reach our ears.

But if we are listening to music through headphones. how about The headphone driver is usually located close to the user's ear, so our brain cannot distinguish between different sources. except that it can recognize that the sound reaches our ears from left and right. Although you can put a series of drivers on both sides of the headphones to simulate the effect of surround sound for you, but this will make the headphones very large and its appearance will be unusual.

Of course, there are a series of models that can They do this by default and are compatible with all standard home theaters to finally deliver surround sound to your ears. But this method also has its own problems, the most important of which is the disruption of the balance and order of the sound when turning the head, which generally questions the concept of surround sound.

Here is that "virtual environment" comes into action; A feature that by using advanced technologies and benefiting from a signal processing and a series of different algorithms, helps you to have a surround sound experience even if you have a simple headphone.

Simple headphones using the " "Virtual surrounds" trick our brains into thinking that we are receiving sound from around us.

Now a headphone or external digital signal processor reproduces the sound waves and delivers them to our ears in such a way that our brain and ears think the sound is flowing all around us. This feature, when combined with the head movement tracking feature, brings the user an experience that keeps the balance of received sounds intact even when moving.

How does surround sound work?

BingMag.com What is spatial audio and what products support it?

Surround sound requires a number of accessories to work properly. Starting from hardware requirements, we should mention headphones and a signal processor. Naturally, if they are not there, the experience of surround sound in a virtual form will have no meaning at all. The signal processor can either be inside the headphones itself, or the device through which the audio file is played, or an external plugin.

In the second step, you must have content that supports surround sound. . It means that the content is mixed in such a way that when you intend it to be inclusive Listen, can give you this possibility. Of course, many modern music and content use this feature, but old files often need to be remixed to support such a feature. Of course, surround sound is more common in the film industry than in music. However, the number of music and music streaming services that support it is increasing day by day.

When you have all these tools and facilities, surround sound can happen. If we want to express a very complex and big idea in a very simple way, surround sound determines how sound waves reach the user's ears from different sources by examining what happens to a sound in our brain. This is done either by scanning the user's ear or by using a physical model of the human head. In other words, it reproduces what is happening in such a way that it seems as if the sound reaches the user's ear from different directions. Not only does the siren get louder when it gets closer to you, but the pitch of the sound changes as it gets closer and further away. In order for the surround sound feature to produce the desired effect, such effects must be applied to the sound. If you think your simple headphones can't do it, just listen to this file.

Is surround sound a valuable feature?

BingMag.com What is spatial audio and what products support it?

Although the technology and idea of surround sound seems very complicated, but can using such a mode really make a difference in the experience of listening to music? Without a doubt, we must say yes. The surround sound is such that if you experience it, you will really notice the difference from the normal state, and it will seem like you are surrounded by the sound sources. But the question of whether it is a valuable feature or not depends on several factors.

Headphones these days have a high price if they support the surround sound feature. The main reason for this price increase is the power of signal processing and a series of special hardware that is used in them. On the other hand, while many movies support this mode, there are still many musics that do not. Except for a series of special streaming services such as Tidal, Deezer, and Spotify HiFi, which also provide the mentioned feature only for a specific music series.

The surround sound only makes you excited to listen to the desired content when the hardware Have what you need and the mentioned content supports it.

Also, a series of companies have personalized the surround sound according to their taste. For example, we can mention Dolby Atmos, Apple Spatial Audio, Windows Sonic and... some of these even have the ability to make sound without surround mode more attractive to users. It doesn't feel anywhere near true surround sound, though.

So when you know you're interested in this feature, do your research before buying a pair of headphones or subscribing to a music streaming service. See what products and services support it. It is more important to see in what conditions your usage is. If you go to the gym, surround sound is not very useful for you because there you should focus on training and surround sound might keep your mind from concentrating. Surrounding sound may not be very suitable for commuting. In simpler words, this feature is more suitable for when you have enough time and concentration to enjoy the content that is being played. Bring you pleasure. So it's 100% worth it, but only if you're willing to pay what you have to pay for it and have enough time to enjoy listening to the right content with it.

What devices have this feature? Support?

BingMag.com What is spatial audio and what products support it?

Many devices now support surround sound. But most of them are flags. For example, Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones that support Sony 360 Reality Audio technology in services such as Tidal, Deezer, and Nugs. But if you use Apple AirPods Max, you must use Apple services and content to enjoy surround sound. This means that these services are not compatible with any headphones. Samsung also uses the Dolby Atmos feature in its high-end products such as the Galaxy Buds Pro.

A series of game consoles and headphones also support this feature, including the PlayStation 3D. Audio pointed out that of course, when you have a PlayStation 5, you can use this feature on any headphone. A series of gaming headphones such as Hyper X Cloud Flight S support surround sound and phones such as Galaxy S22 also support Dolby Atmos. So You should also keep in mind that any type of surround sound is compatible with the headphones you buy. If both your device and headphones support a type of surround sound, you will still need content that supports this feature.

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