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Posts under tag: microphones

February 18, 2015

Bringing Back Binaural Audio for Virtual Reality

Binaural MicrophoneYou’re probably unfamiliar with binaural audio, a technology that dates back all the way to the late 1800s but, for a variety of reasons, fell by the wayside while mono and then stereo sound became audio industry standards. But binaural audio is now experiencing a revival because it’s uniquely suited for a very modern technology: virtual reality.

Binaural recordings are designed to pick up sound exactly the way human ears perceive it. They’re made with specialized equipment: two microphones placed on either side of a stand or dummy head, sometimes embedded inside ear-shaped appendages on that head. The effect is stunning — binaural audio is able to recreate a sound field so the listener feels like they were actually there when the recording was made. The catch is that it only works with headphones, although people are currently working on ways to support external speakers.

For more, check out this article from Polygon.com (and check out the video too; wear headphones as you do)