As always, the big questions at the start of IFA are always “what are the key groundswell trends this year?” Uwe Cremering, Sennheiser’s Director, Ambeo Immersive Audio, says a key topic which will become increasingly relevant over the next years is 3D audio which has the potential to completely transform the way we experience sound.
The developments in VR and AR are drivers for a number of applications both in the professional and in the consumer audio field. Music and sports consumption at home, the design of educational environments and exhibitions are just some of the areas which will benefit from these new technologies.
IN THE IMMERSIVE AUDIO MARKET, ONLY SENNHEISER CAN TRULY OFFER 3D AUDIO SOLUTIONS FOR THE ENTIRE AUDIO SIGNAL CHAI
How does Sennheiser position itself in this market?
Based on Sennheiser’s expertise in microphone and headphone technology as well as binaural audio, we are the only company in the immersive audio market that can truly offer 3D audio solutions for the entire audio signal chain, from capturing to mixing and processing to reproduction.
Early in 2016, we introduced Ambeo as a trademark carried by all of Sennheiser’s immersive audio products and services. Ambeo solutions provide a listening experience that matches the visual impressions of VR and AR.
How is 3D audio changing the way consumers experience content?
With 3D audio, we can help to break down the wall between the real and a virtual world. Instead of simply watching a sports game or listening to a concert at home, 3D audio allows users to feel like they are at the stadium or among the concert audience. One good example is the ‘Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains’ retrospective which is currently held at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. We created a dedicated Ambeo room for a 360-degree video and sound experience with songs from different Pink Floyd live shows. The effect is striking: People start listening, close their eyes and seem to feel like they are standing next to the band on stage. And then most of them just start smiling and it becomes obvious how the experience touches them emotionally.
Which applications do you see for 3D audio?
3D audio bears great potential for broadcasting applications, especially in the field of sports and live concerts, but also for a range of other applications such as music recording and listening, gaming, travel, automotive and educational purposes
Sennheiser is showcasing the new Ambeo Smart Headset at IFA. What is the idea behind this device?
The Ambeo Smart Headset is the world’s first intuitive and mobile binaural recording headset. It allows users to capture and share the world just as they experience it. Microphones on each of the headset’s ear pieces capture the sound of any given environment just like the user hears them which creates a stunning 3D experience. This way, the Ambeo Smart Headset complements the high-quality video that is already available on mobile devices by offering the same level of realism and detail in an audio solution.
Where do you think 3D audio is headed? What does the future hold?
We expect the increased merging of virtual elements and the real world to be the most radical change in the years to come. While Virtual Reality devices are just the beginning, we believe that Augmented Reality will take this development to a completely new level in terms of daily use and commercialization. Sound, especially 3D sound, will be essential here because it is crucial for conveying emotion – it is the missing piece for making consumers feel truly immersed in a virtual world.
HALL 1.2 / STAND 202
Photo: Uwe Cremering Director, Ambeo Immersive Audio, Sennheiser