After the CES 2016, it was evident that the coming year would be loaded with Virtual Reality launches. But quietly making its way up again from CES 2015 is 3D audio. The technology was unveiled last year and is suddenly grabbing attention in 2016; and with some new updates, seems like 3D audio will be the next big thing; after VR, of course.
Those new updates come from 3D Sound Labs and Jabra, and while the latter audio solution is not ready for showtime, the former is.
What is 3D audio? Well, in its current form, 3D audio is a complex audio setup that uses a number of sensors to position sound sources in different parts of the listener’s head. 3D audio is expected to deliver an immersive audio experiences that will work in a number of applications that will not just be limited to listening music but gaming and more importantly, VR as well.
3D Sound Labs a French company (which started off on Kickstarter) is selling its first 3D audio headset, the 3D Sound One. The $299 3D Sound One achieves its version of 3D audio by using an array of sensors that include a GPS, gyroscope, compass, accelerometer (and many more) which takes in to account a user’s movements and even his/her surroundings to give the audio an immersive feel.
Next up is Jabra, a specialist in Bluetooth accessories, that is also said to be working on its version of the a 3D audio headset called the ‘Intelligent Headset Developer Edition’, but for now, their only target is developers. And indeed, this is an important step for 3D audio to take off.
The differentiating factor here is that the above mentioned headsets are portable. This allows the wearer to carry their immersive audio experience around, taking their world with them. This is similar to massive home theatre setups that take up space and obviously cannot be carried around.