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Audioscenic’s AI Beamforming Does Immersive Sound without Headphones or Speaker Wires

This UK technology company has partnered with Razer for an immersive gaming experience but the tech may be coming soon to TVs, soundbars and more.

Razer Leviathan V2 Pro Gaming Soundbar with AI Head-Tracking

Immersive sound or “spatial audio” is all the rage these days. Beyond standard stereo sound, immersive sound puts the listener right in the middle of the action in movies, gaming and even music listening. Immersive sound comes from all around you and even above you. There are typically two ways of doing immersive sound: using lots of speakers, placed all around the room or using headphones. When headphones are used, a process called “binauralization” turns the multi-channel surround sound mix into a binaural 2-channel headphone mix that replicates the immersive sound experience in standard headphones.

But what if you don’t want to wear headphones and you don’t want to run multiple speakers all over your room? A company called Audioscenic has developed technology that allows the listener to hear a convincing immersive surround soundfield from a single soundbar or pair of speakers. They call it “3D Audio Beamforming” and it could change the way we listen to and interact with games, TV shows, movies and music.

For the technology to work, the system needs to know where your ears are in space, so it can beam very precise sound to each ear, thereby replicating the experience of a good pair of head-tracking headphones, but without having to wear a pair of headphones. This gives the viewer or listener (or gamer) much more freedom of motion. Audioscenic tracks your ear position in real time with a camera, using advanced AI software to dynamically adjust the sound to be optimized for your particular location.

3D Audio beamforming tracks the listener's ear positioning
3D Audio beamforming tracks the listener’s ear position in order to create a custom, dynamic binaural mix which creates an immersive surround sound experience.

The technology is still very new but there is already a production product on the market which uses it. The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro gaming soundbar ($399.99) is powered by Audioscenic. It includes an integrated camera for ear tracking and comes with a powered subwoofer to handle the low bass. I had a chance to sit down with the Razer soundbar at a demo in New York City earlier this month and found that it created a believable surround sound image with sound coming from the front, the sides and behind me.

Razer Leviathan V2 Pro soundbar
The Razer Leviathan V2 Pro soundbar is powered by Audioscenic beamforming technology.

The company also had a demo running on a Razer gaming laptop. The company tapped into the laptop’s web cam to track ear position and custom Audioscenic software was running in order to generate a beamformed binaural mix out of the standard laptop speakers. The creation of a 3D immersive image from these two laptop speakers was also impressive, though it lacked the precision, balanced sound and low bass of the more polished Razer soundbar/subwoofer combination. The current Razer soundbar is optimized for a single listener however a company rep told me that the technology can support custom beamforming to multiple viewers and listeners in a larger space.

Audioscenic is currently in discussions with additional manufacturers in an attempt to bring more products to market. Makers of TVs, speakers, soundbars, PCs and mobile devices would all be potential partners.

Find out more at: audioscenic.com.

Related Reading:

Razer Unveils Leviathan V2 THX Gaming Soundbar

Spatial Audio/Immersive Sound: Next Big Thing or Just Another Cash Grab? (podcast)

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Catherine Lugg

    April 22, 2023 at 1:22 pm

    Oooooo. This is seriously cool. And I can see this used in settings far beyond gaming (rehab for an assortment of injuries, stroke, etc.). I’m sure they weren’t think of health care, but that’s a GIANT market that is sadly growing.

    • Chris Boylan

      April 24, 2023 at 5:42 pm

      Interesting observation. Yes, there are many potential implementations of audio beamforming. I’ve seen some implementations that target informational messages just to specific locations. When you’re in one part of a room, you hear a message but move over a foot and it disappears. Pretty cool stuff.

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