You most probably are yet to hear of 3D audio, but it is a technology that comes with great potential. In fact, this technology is over 100 years old! How come you have never heard about it? Binaural audio existed as early as the 1800s, but for some reason, consumers and the industry abandoned it in favor of mono and stereo sound. Mono and stereo sound would go on to become industry standards. Forget the history; you just want to know the answer to the question: What is 3D audio?
What is it?
Most film lovers are familiar with the idea of surround sound. Sound surround involves positioning speakers where you are with the aim of getting yourself immersed in the movie’s audio. The set up enables you to experience the film’s sounds from all directions as opposed to just one direction. 3D audio extends beyond films; it makes music more immersive. Modern manufacturers use a similar idea when producing headphones.
But 3D Audio Differs from Surround Sound
Surround sound attempts to make sounds real, but binaural audio perfects everything. It re-creates them in a much more natural way; you get to hear the sounds like you would in real life. The technology, for example, can make your ears perceive a sound like a beeping car horn as if an actual driver beeps it nearby. 3D audio makes it so real you could find yourself jumping out of harm’s way!
How Does Binaural Audio Technology Work?
Binaural audio technology makes it possible for you to hear sounds as if they are emanating from all around you rather than from a set of speakers. It makes you feel like you were present when your favorite artiste made the recording. Normally, you perceive a sound that comes to you from the left as being louder in your left ear than in your right one, and vice-versa. Also, the sound takes a fraction of a second longer to reach the ear that faces the opposite direction from where the sound comes. Well, this is a subtle change, but it does make a noticeable difference.
Binaural Audio is Becoming Popular
One of the main reasons this technology is gaining popularity among today’s consumers is that it works well with virtual reality. Modern technology has already succeeded in creating fully immersive virtual worlds. Now, everyone is rushing to make audio as realistic as possible. What that means is that binaural audio takes virtual reality to a whole new level, making it seem even more “real” than people perceive it to be. Google cardboard and other such inventions are making it possible to convert smartphones into virtual reality headsets. This development translates into tremendous possibilities that will soon make virtual reality ubiquitous.
Technology is never static. What people rejected more than 100 years ago might become the next product that everyone wants to have. The 3D technology appeared on the scene more than 100 years ago, but it probably was an idea whose time had not come yet. Now its time has come.