How spatial audio is helping immerse users in the metaverse

Spatial audio promises greater immersion in music or other audio environments. — AFP Relaxnews

The notion of spatial audio, introduced by Apple, describes an immersive audio experience, in three dimensions, promising to plunge listeners into the heart of the action, whether that’s a concert, a movie or a game, etc.

For the moment, few people can enjoy spatial audio, because not many applications are yet compatible. Nevertheless, this approach to audio is sure to develop alongside the metaverse concept, which involves creating particularly immersive virtual reality experiences.

In theory, spatial audio lets listeners enjoy unparalleled sound quality, no matter how they might position or move their heads, with audio that sounds like you’re genuinely in the middle of a crowd or a game, for example, the idea being that the sound comes from all directions and that listeners are therefore in the midst of the action.

This concept was introduced earlier this year by Apple, via Apple Music. To try it, you need compatible headphones, in this case the AirPods Pro or Max. And while the offer is currently quite sparse (Apple Music and Netflix, for example, have some compatible content), the phenomenon is still in its infancy.

With the rise in the concept of the metaverse (from “meta” and “universe”) – or veritable parallel worlds – spatial audio makes particular sense. Experiencing what’s now referred to as a metaverse – a shared virtual world – can take different forms, from attending a concert or dancing in a nightclub as an avatar, walking virtually in the jungle or, more mundanely, holding a meeting between colleagues in a virtual office. In all cases, 3D sound will help give the illusion of being there for real. – AFP Relaxnews

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