Why virtualization for headphone applications?

Well, listening with headphones is an unnatural condition. Because of evolution, humans hear spatially, this is fixed in our genes. This is not possible with headphones because the way a room reflects an audio source is not available. Indeed, headphones bring audio signals directly into our ears without any spatial information of the current room environment. Naturally, our brain recognizes this unnatural audio reproduction and tries to compensate. Finally, we adapt and don’t hear the discrepancy any more, but our brain does it subconsciously.

Virtualization simulates neutral hearing. So, e.g. the left and right signal of a stereo mp3 will be adjusted separately for each ear like it would on a stereo system in a living room at home. In this way, our brain gets natural sounding audio information which prevents limiting effects and gives the possibility to put virtual speakers at nearly any place around the listener. So, stereo, 5.1 surround and future 3D mixes can be reproduced in a way that is impressively realistic, as one would hear it on a corresponding real speaker system.

What is headphone-surround™

headphone-surround™ was an exclusive audio service which was provided by MO’VISION from 2000. This service included audio simulations which create virtual loudspeakers on standard commercial headphones applications. 5.1 cinema mixes enable the listener to hear DVD Surround Sound with standard commercial headphones as if sitting in a home cinema surround system in a living room. So, headphone-surround™ enabled amazing surround sound entertainment everywhere and at any time just using standard commercial headphones.
Up until 2008, over 40 well known blockbuster movies were released with headphone-surround™. These DVDs are available in stores and video rentals and provide the headphone-surround™ versions as separate audio tracks accessible via the audio settings of the DVD. A reference list is here.headphone-surround™ is a protected trade mark of Tom Ammermann / MO’VISION music production.

What is HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™

HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ is the evolution of the headphone-surround™ procedure. The new additional benefits are better virtualization quality and the possibility to put an arbitrary number of virtual loudspeakers in the 3-dimensional surroundings of the listener. It used to be an exclusive MO’VISION service. Since 2008, 17 Blu-rays, DVDs and CDs with HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ have been released. More will follow soon. A reference list is here.

In the late summer of 2012, HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ applications were released which offer professionals and consumers new and outstanding access to these virtualized loudspeakers. Since then, listening with headphones has not been the same as before. An absolutely new way of listening and entertainment is now possible and also is no longer an exclusive service of MO’VISION.

Are there differences in quality and experience of HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ mixes?.

Definitely yes! As with all audio mixes, the following aspects are important:

First, the experience depends very much on the subjective likes and dislikes of the listener. A fan of classical music could surely appraise a rock mix, but his emotional distance to this different genre may decrease his ability to make a judgement. A rock fan may disagree with his opinion because in rock and classical music different sound aspects are important.

Second, the quality depends a lot on the artist, sound engineer and producer as well as their technical equipment. Basically, this is the most important aspect in any audio production. Whether it is for music, games or film, good craftsmanship is the basic requirement for any audio enjoyment.

Third, the experience depends much on the available audio sources. A stereo mix can be played back via two virtual HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ loudspeakers. This is a much more pleasant listening experience than standard headphones reproduction. So a 5.1 cinema mix played back via six virtual HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ loudspeakers is naturally a real adventure. Dazzling in every respect is a separately made 3D mix. With this, the audio producer uses any number of virtual HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ loudspeakers.

These can be positioned as he wants and taking account of the desired effect in the surrounding of the listener. In this way, natural sounding music mixes, realistic game scenarios and fascinating film mixes can all be created. Rooms and ambiences seem to be real; sounds like voices, animals, as well as air and ground vehicles can be localized by the listener three dimensionally, even above and behind him. Even large soundscapes like game scenarios or movie scenes can be perceived transparently and spatially.

Do I need special soft- or hardware for HEADPHONE SURROUND™ 3D applications?

Definitely no. Because HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ is technically a stereo format and is usable everywhere where standard stereo is used. So, any internet, mp3, DVD and Blu-ray application is possible. No special soft- or hardware is needed. Just plug headphones in and hit play. All the user has to do is make sure to use the headphones in the right direction (left is left, right is right).

Additionally, since late summer 2012, consumers and professionals can access software applications which enable them to virtualize audio content on their home computer (mp3, DVD) and audio workstation (multi-channel mixes).

For what HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ is useful?

HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ is useful for any audio mix, whether it’s an audio play, stereo music production, a game or a film with 5.1 or maybe 7.1 surround sound. Also, a standard stereo mix as an mp3 file sounds, on a virtual stereo loudspeaker system, more pleasant and emotional than a standard headphones reproduction. Besides the currently supported 3D audio formats like Auro3D, HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ enables the creation of amazing new 3-dimensional worlds of sound.

How can I get HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D ™ mixes for my product?

This is very easy with the SPATIAL AUDIO DESIGNER™. It is a plug-in for common digital audio workstations and provides full and unlimited access for any audio producer or audio service provider.

Why is 3D audio more emotional?

Since we lived in caves we have needed to perceive our surroundings spatially. We need to notice a tree branch about to fall on our head, a tiger behind us in the undergrowth, fish in the river in front of us. Without the ability to localize such audio events we would be extinct because our ancestors would have been injured, eaten or starved. And so that our reactions would be fast enough to escape danger and be successful in hunting, evolution connected our audio perception to our emotion, making them instinctive.

So spatial hearing means emotional hearing. Surely, the success of stereo and surround sound is based on that because ultimately entertainment should be amusing, stirring and informative. And that means being emotional because otherwise it would be boring and therefore not entertainment. So, 3D audio means more tension, more entertainment and more information but nevertheless, and an apparent contradiction, it means also more relaxation. 3D sounds as if it is real. Our brain, our mind and our instincts get exactly what they “know” from reality. So even a soothing, relaxing or meditation style of music can have much more effect than previously…

Can I use HEADPHONE SURROUND™ logos for free?

For the moment no, because they are protected. However, if the software HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ application is released, any owner of an application is allowed to use the logo and the term in relation to such mixes, and of course clients can use them too. This should ensure and communicate a good quality standard.

Can I listen HEADPHONE SURROUND 3D™ mixes on loudspeakers?

To listen e.g. via the loudspeakers of a home stereo system instead of headphones will provide a more or less spatial sound. Using desktop speakers, a virtualization effect is recognizable. It depends on the distance of the listener to the loudspeakers. Presupposing the listener is positioned in the middle of the loudspeakers, the same distance to each, a more or less virtualization effect is recognizable

How do I update to an newer version of my software?

Since our procedure for updating is a bit special – her is how you do it:

    • Log into your account @ https://store.newaudiotechnology.com/users/sign_in
    • Go to „My licenses/Download Software“
    • Generate an installer for your operating system
    • After that process download the installer and run the installer over your current installation.

Now you are good to go.