What does it take to deliver immersive VR audio? | Audeze
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What does it take to deliver immersive VR audio?

- By Karthick

03 Jan '17

Audeze’s years of  research in both recording and reproduction of spatial audio through ambisonics and binaural techniques resulted in ISINE VR, the world’s first planar headphones for Virtual Reality applications. They deliver an immersive audio experience no matter what VR system you’re using

The human brain use spatial cues embedded in sound to localize its source enabling us to hear in 3D. The spatial cues are a combination of different factors experienced in the real world.

Interaural Time Delay (ITD): Depending on where the sound source is, there’s a slight delay between when each of our ears hear sound. ITD is one of the easiest cues to create and is easily reproduced by most headphones. But ITD is useful mostly in the midrange and ineffective at low frequencies

Interaural  Intensity Differences (IID): When sound is not directly in front of you the head partially blocks or ‘shadows’ the sound reaching the ear opposite the source. The degree to which there’s a change in the perceived frequency response between your two ears provides valuable directional cues. We’ve found that headphones with a frequency response close to neutral with closely matched drivers is most effective in delivering IID cues. We match iSINE VR drivers to within 1dB and tuned them to  sound as close to neutral as possible.

Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF): HRTFs model how our head, ear and torso modifies sound before they reach our ear. HRTFs can be used within VR environments to provide a stunningly immersive audio experience. We’ve found that headphones that faithfully reproduce HRTF without distorting or coloring the response work best. When frequency response is modified it often leads to distortion if the transducers aren’t up to it. The iSINE VRs exhibit close-to-zero distortion, the lowest distortion of any production in-ear headphones.

Transient attack: Our brains pick up minute differences in the time differences between transients produced by differing sound sources. This helps separate them even if they’re close or behind each other.The ultra-thin planar drivers of the iSINE VR deliver fast-as-life leading-edge transients and ultra-quick settling times for significantly better imaging, transparency and VR believability

Reflections and reverberation: When sound is directly in front or behind us it’s difficult to perceive depth unless there are nearby reflective surfaces. Our brains process direct and reflected sound to sense the depth and size of the environment. Headphones must be able to reproduce and finely resolve both direct and reflected sound. Additionally the iSINE VR features low-frequency extension down to 10Hz that ensures reverberant energy is faithfully relayed to your ears.

Though we knew all along that our fast and low distortion planar transducers are well suited for VR, the real challenge was shrinking our design to fit within the form factor of an in-ear for an unobtrusive  VR expereience.

Audeze’s years of  research in both recording and reproduction of spatial audio through ambisonics and binaural techniques resulted in ISINE VR, the world’s first planar headphones for Virtual Reality applications. They deliver an immersive audio experience no matter what VR system you’re using

The human brain use spatial cues embedded in sound to localize its source enabling us to hear in 3D. The spatial cues are a combination of different factors experienced in the real world.

Interaural Time Delay (ITD): Depending on where the sound source is, there’s a slight delay between when each of our ears hear sound. ITD is one of the easiest cues to create and is easily reproduced by most headphones. But ITD is useful mostly in the midrange and ineffective at low frequencies

Interaural  Intensity Differences (IID): When sound is not directly in front of you the head partially blocks or ‘shadows’ the sound reaching the ear opposite the source. The degree to which there’s a change in the perceived frequency response between your two ears provides valuable directional cues. We’ve found that headphones with a frequency response close to neutral with closely matched drivers is most effective in delivering IID cues. We match iSINE VR drivers to within 1dB and tuned them to  sound as close to neutral as possible.

Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF): HRTFs model how our head, ear and torso modifies sound before they reach our ear. HRTFs can be used within VR environments to provide a stunningly immersive audio experience. We’ve found that headphones that faithfully reproduce HRTF without distorting or coloring the response work best. When frequency response is modified it often leads to distortion if the transducers aren’t up to it. The iSINE VRs exhibit close-to-zero distortion, the lowest distortion of any production in-ear headphones.

Transient attack: Our brains pick up minute differences in the time differences between transients produced by differing sound sources. This helps separate them even if they’re close or behind each other.The ultra-thin planar drivers of the iSINE VR deliver fast-as-life leading-edge transients and ultra-quick settling times for significantly better imaging, transparency and VR believability

Reflections and reverberation: When sound is directly in front or behind us it’s difficult to perceive depth unless there are nearby reflective surfaces. Our brains process direct and reflected sound to sense the depth and size of the environment. Headphones must be able to reproduce and finely resolve both direct and reflected sound. Additionally the iSINE VR features low-frequency extension down to 10Hz that ensures reverberant energy is faithfully relayed to your ears.

Though we knew all along that our fast and low distortion planar transducers are well suited for VR, the real challenge was shrinking our design to fit within the form factor of an in-ear for an unobtrusive  VR expereience.