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Is 3-D sound the future of audio?

Author:    Source:    Release time: 2016-11-29 16:39:53

Is it possible to close your eyes and trick your mind into thinking you're in a completely different place? 3-D sound hopes to provide that kind of immersive experience, putting you right in the middle of a crowded street or an opera house — all without leaving your living room.

3-D movies have become the norm for big summer blockbusters, but haven't quite made the jump into people's homes, despite the fact that technology companies have been relentlessly pushing them on consumers. 3-D sound, on the other hand, is a largely forgotten technology with far more potential for mass adoption.

We're not talking about surround sound, but a true-to-life listening experience that mimics what we experience every day. While surround sound is meant to engulf a listener (or viewer), 3-D sound is meant to provide an accurate representation of sound location. A listener with closed eyes should be able to sense the size of the room where the event was recorded, and pick out where each sound originated from.

More and more, 3-D sound projects are popping up. So what are some interesting uses of the technology?

Hooke is a pair of wireless headphones that not only emit sound, but can record it as well. Two microphones are placed at your ears, which allows the headset to record binaurally and play back the sounds the way the person originally heard them in their environment. (Imagine a surfer recording his experience of being in the tunnel of a wave, for example.) Hooke recently finished a successful crowd-funding campaign, and the headphones should be on the market in the next few months.


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