what is immersive audio

motive behind immersive audio

Audio & Visuals are the backbone of a movie experience. Each scene has an audio element mastered to make a profound impact on your conscious and subconscious mind. Therefore, movie producers make significant investment in audio technologies. Today, Dolby ATMOS/DTS-X are standard for creating an “immersive audio” experience with movies. These formats are also an upgrade over the earlier “surround sound” concept. In this three-part article, we will explore how to build immersive experience in your home theatre.

A good home theatre setup transports you right into the middle of the movie scene
how does home theatre work?

In nature, both our ears pickup two distinct sounds; it is our cognitive ability that combines the two sound to help us sense the direction or distance from sound origin. Also, this is a study called the psycho-acoustics, which focus on the combined impact of our cognitive and hearing abilities.

Psycho-acoustics leads us to stereo

The speakers in a “stereo” system produce two distinct sounds for each ear. Because of the psycho-acoustic effect, the listener hears a virtual sound-stage. For example, most stereo-image will have the vocal in the centre with various equipment placed in a three-dimensional space between and behind the speakers.

In fact, in a high end stereo system like Acoustic Portrait, the speakers will completely disappear. The listener will only hear and experience this sound stage.

Listener is in front of the virtual soundstage

expand the stereo concept to surround sound

Surround sound extends the stereo concept with additional speakers placed around you. A stereo system will place you in front of the sound stage. However, with surround sound, we position you inside the soundstage. Hence, you will feel you are inside the movie scene.

Indeed, this is an amazing tool for movie directors to create an acoustic envelope around the audience. This sound stage has become an integral part of the movie narrative.

Surround-sound formats restrict sound stage to a 2D/Horizontal plane

Listener is in center of the soundstage

upgrading from surround to immersive sound

Dolby ATMOS and DTS: X adds the height element to the sound stage. This make the sound stage more three dimensional.

Besides the surround speakers, ceiling speakers help to leverage the full potential of these modern formats.

These modern formats support a concept called sound “Objects”. So, the studio engineers can create realistic immersive sound experience. This level of realism was not possible with earlier surround formats. However, this is a subject by itself, which we will revisit in a future article.

Height speakers help recreate a three dimensional sound stage
Let's conclude

To summarize, the most fundamental purpose for a home theatre is to create a sound stage. Also, we require a few more technical qualities that make the soundstage realistic and impactful. We will discuss these qualities in the another article.

Top 7 qualities required in a home theatre

Finally, we welcome you to book a free consultation with technical experts at the acoustic portrait. We will guide and help you build an outstanding home theatre. A good home theatre will reward you with an adrenaline rush, goosebumps and edge-of-seat experience.