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Dirac Advances VR Audio with its Sound Enhancement Technology

As you should know by now, virtual reality (VR) isn’t just about flashy visuals. For true immersion sound plays a vary important part, especially spatial 3D audio – being able to pinpoint where something is in a scene just by the sound it makes. CES 2017 will feature VR technology in all its forms this week – JBL will be showcasing some new Oculus Rift headphones – and one company revealing its latest developments is Dirac Research, which will be introducing the Dirac VR platform.

Dirac Research specialises in platform-optimized sound enhancement technology and its Dirac VR platform features the latest patent-pending dynamic HRTFs (head-related transfer functions) that consider the isolated movements of the head in relation to the human torso.

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“Dirac VR is a high-end alternative to existing positional audio technologies for headphones,” explained Dirac Research CEO, Dr. Mathias Johansson. “Dirac VR enables transparent sound reproduction and the highest accuracy in localizing sound. For example, if in a VR environment a helicopter is hovering 10 yards in front of me, regardless of which way I turn my head, that helicopter needs to and will stay perfectly fixed. Only Dirac VR can achieve this precise sound localization and accuracy.”

“In VR, sound quality requirements are actually greater and more important than in many other applications, as the goal of VR is to fully immerse users, convincing them that they are in fact in a different world,” continued Johansson. “If any detail of the sound playback is flawed it immediately dissolves the illusion of true reality. Dirac’s approach to optimizing sound for VR pays great attention to detail. Not just a single detail, such as the dynamic HRTF approach that we developed and pioneered, and is fundamental to the quest of true immersion, but every detail that will impact the reproduction of sound in a virtual world.”

For Dirac VR, the company improved its existing technologies that are used to simulate real acoustic venues in various acoustic settings – such as the Gothenburg Concert Hall reproduction in the Volvo XC90 B&W Sound System – by reworking the entire process of HRTF measurements to come up with error-free and completely accurate high-resolution HRTFs it claims.

Dirac has 15 years of experience in room acoustics optimization, and the company’s list of clients includes a blue chip portfolio of technology leaders such as Rolls Royce, Bentley, BMW, Volvo, Harman, Pioneer, OPPO, Arcam, Datasat, Huawei, OnePlus, and Xiaomi.

Dirac VR demonstrations will be run throughout CES 2017, and as VRFocus learns more about what the technology holds for the future of VR we’ll let you know.