How 3D Sound Fits into the Virtual Reality Picture

If you have been reading up on virtual reality (VR) you have probably come across terms like 3D sound. Other similar phrases include binaural audio systems or binaural recording systems.

The binaural recording system captures audio like a panoramic system captures a 3D visual representation. So, it would be similar to having the experience of 3D audio.

Stereo, Mono, 3D/Binaural Sound Systems

Do you remember hearing stereo, as compared to mono sound? Years ago, listening to mono was like listening to the sound with only one ear. It felt as if there was something missing, without that balance of the audio in the other ear. Very quickly, the culture demanded a stereophonic sound. It became essential and without it, the sound was not truly experienced.

Well, now we are entering into the next layer of sound with the 3D sound. Instead of two sources, like we have two ears, there is a new positioning of the sound. It is the interaction of the sound amongst other sounds within its field. This provides the true-life sound picture.

The perception of what we see produces a more lifelike visual representation. In the same way, the sound becomes more lifelike when it projects within a field of sound. It is a case of sound allowing the reflection of all that transpires in that arena.

Sound Engineers Weigh In With Their Perspectives

For so many years, decades, sound engineers have viewed the sound system as a matter of hearing the sound in one ear or two ears. Now, with binaural sound, there is the interpretation of the sound from within the entire human head, different positioning within the head, around the person, and the engagement with the surrounding area. We realize that simple sound is not as simple as it seems. The assessment of sound is more than two choices (stereo or mono).

The binaural sound system and recording system welcome themselves into the virtual reality (VR) world. Even with that transition, the 3D sound has not experienced full acceptance, when it comes to virtual reality (VR).

Part of the reason is that of the attitude is “if it isn’t broke why fix it.” Since we are able to hear just fine with our two ears, is there really a requirement for the next level of realistic (3D) sound.

However, as with any gainful technology steps, it is only a matter of time before the Virtual Reality world catches up and there is a demand for binaural (3D) recording systems. Once that happens, there will be competitors vying to improve upon the process and to be the first to cross this finish line or that finish line.

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