Oculus Shows Audio Technology Advances in VR
Visuals are the most important aspect of a VR headset, but without good audio, the whole experience could fail. That’s why Oculus puts great effort on this.
Beyond Surround Sound: Audio Advances in VR
Audio is very important if you want to make true-to-life Virtual Reality experiences. That’s why Oculus brought changes to the Oculus Rift SDK that provided developers the ability to make spatial audio as immersive and realistic as possible.
Oculus added Near-Field head-related transfer function (Near-Field HRTF). Standard HRTF is required to build good 3D audio experiences, but it can only replicate the way sounds reach your ears from a meter away. The improved HRTF technology can do the same but from a much closer distance. It is able to make the realistic sound of a phone ringing or a whisper as you bring them closer to your ears.
There are also Volumetric Sound Sources added to the SDK, so you will soon hear realistic-sounding waterfalls and oceans in your VR experiences. This feature allows developers to add big sound sources a radius instead of a unique source of origin.
When you step into the sound radius, you’ll hear these volumetric sounds all around you, making you feel as if you’re really stepping close to a real waterfall. According to Oculus, the team is adding features like these two and others so you can experience a new world of realistic VR experiences.
“All these little cues that you’re used to have in real life — they aren’t there in VR. We’re slowly adding them in. Every little piece is cumulative, and it makes a huge difference.” Said Oculus Audio Design Manager, Tom Smurdon.