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Sennheiser, Neumann and Igloo Vision create Igloo VR experience

The Igloo Shared VR space equipped with an AMBEO 9.1 sound system created from compact Neumann KH 80 DSP studio monitors

The Shared VR company, Igloo Vision, has partnered with Sennheiser and Neumann to create an Igloo Shared VR space equipped with an AMBEO 9.1 sound system created from compact Neumann KH 80 DSP studio monitors.

With an in-house team of technologists, Igloo Vision creates immersive 360° projection domes and projection cylinders, all powered by the Igloo Media Player. The Igloos act as giant VR headsets; wraparound sound and vision immerse participators in 360° or VR content. With Igloo spaces ranging in size from five to 21 metres in diameter, up to 750 people can join the experience. Adding the Sennheiser AMBEO 9.1 system means that true 3D spatial soundscapes can be reproduced, enabling sound designers to precisely pinpoint the locations and sources of different sounds, accurately linking what is seen with what is heard.

The Neumann KH 80 DSP loudspeakers are set up in a 9.1 arrangement behind the acoustically transparent screen of the Igloo cylinder, fully enveloping visitors in the orchestra sound.

The first step in the partnership has been to install and calibrate the 9.1 loudspeaker system in the standard six-metre Igloo Shared VR cylinder. The resulting AMBEO Igloo cylinder works with an acoustically transparent screen that allows high-quality audio to pass unhindered, allowing for full immersion in both audio and video.

As Véronique Larcher, director of AMBEO Immersive Audio at Sennheiser pointed out: “The spatial audio experience really makes or breaks the illusion – and this captivating combination of 360° video and spatial 3D audio creates a totally convincing experience of being in a different environment.”

Colin Yellowley, founder and head of R&D of Igloo Vision, added: “Besides the huge field of immersive experiences for brands, Igloo is active in the field of simulation, where real-life scenarios are recreated for training and education purposes, and also in visualisation, helping customers see how finished design concepts will look and feel. With three-dimensional audio added to the 360 vision, we can now create even more lifelike experiences for clients.”

Thanks to the partnership, Igloo is able to offer a wide range of ready-made spatial audio solutions. As well as the six-metre Igloo cylinder, Sennheiser AMBEO systems can be specified and calibrated for any Igloo products – which range from 2.5-metre projection cubes right up to 21-metre projection domes. Clients and sound designers are invited to experience – and also to test their existing content – at Igloo Vision’s Shared VR demo centre in Wood Green, London.

The video below shows a screening of the 360° film Sea Prayer, by award-winning novelist Khaled Hosseini, produced in collaboration with UNHCR, the Guardian and Google and as part of the Igloo VR space.