Wedemark, Germany (March 8, 2018)—Sennheiser is aiming to strengthen its immersive audio solutions portfolio with an investment in Dear Reality, a developer of spatial audio algorithms and audio VR/AR software, and the acquisition of technologies from Sonic Emotion, a developer of 3D audio software and processing solutions. Both companies have developed specialized expertise and tools for the creation and rendering of immersive audio in object-based and scene-based formats.
“We are excited to be complementing our broad AMBEO expertise with additional capabilities in the areas of processing, controlling and reproducing object-based immersive audio,” said Daniel Sennheiser, co-CEO of Sennheiser.
AMBEO is Sennheiser’s program and trademark for 3D audio, which includes immersive audio products and technologies for the entire audio signal chain, from capture to mixing and processing to reproduction. One of Sennheiser’s flagship AMBEO products is the AMBEO VR Mic. Developed especially for 360° spatial audio recording, the AMBEO VR Mic is an ambisonic microphone fitted with four matched KE 14 capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement whose design allows the capture of surrounding sound from a single point. The mic reportedly delivers fully spherical ambisonics sound to match captured VR video/spherical 360 content.
At the IBC show in September 2017, Sennheiser launched its AMBEO for VR Partnership Program, created to aid production workflows for VR and AR productions. The program encompasses collaborations with manufacturers of field recorders, VR live cameras and live streaming software, mixing plug-ins and VR platforms.
Related: Review: Sennheiser AMBEO VR Microphone, by Rob Tavaglione, Pro Sound News, July 6, 2017
Sennheiser co-CEO Dr. Andreas Sennheiser added, “Augmented audio will play a huge role in the future, and this expansion will further strengthen our position as the go-to experts in the field of augmented and mixed reality applications.”
Dear Reality, based in Germany, creates software for professional audio production of both linear and interactive content in VR/AR. The company is known for its immersive audio plug-ins, algorithms and software for development platforms and interactive apps. Dear Reality’s Spatial Connect software enables an immersive workflow for VR/AR audio productions, while the company’s dearVR is a 3D audio engine for digital audio workstations and interactive platforms such as Unity.
Dear Reality co-CEOs Achim Fell and Christian Sander commented, “With Sennheiser, we share the conviction that immersive audio is the future of audio productions and that augmented audio will become important for our everyday life. We are very happy to have found a strong partner in Sennheiser that will enable us to develop high-quality software solutions for immersive audio production and perception. Our products close the gap between recording equipment and reproduction hardware to create a comprehensive production workflow that is compatible with every headphone in the world.”
The acquisition of technologies from Sonic Emotion, based in Switzerland, brings immersive audio solutions for soundfield control and loudspeaker playback to Sennheiser’s AMBEO technologies. Sonic Emotion’s object-audio workflow and 3D software licensing portfolio enable an immersive audio experience for consumer devices including soundbars, headphones, laptops and smartphones.
Related: At NAMM: AMBEO Binaural Panner Plug-In, Pro Sound News, Jan. 26, 2018
Renato Pellegrini, co-founder of Sonic Emotion who joined the AMBEO team in January, said, “The algorithms developed by Sonic Emotion will now be combined with the strong product portfolio and algorithms of Sennheiser. There is a huge potential in our joint expertise, and I am very much looking forward to the resulting products, which will make the future of audio ever more real for our customers.”
Sennheiser’s Ongoing Commitment to AR/VR Audio
Just this week at the South by Southwest (SXSW) Conference & Festivals in Austin, Texas, Sennheiser launched the AMBEO Augmented Audio Developers Program. Successful applicants will get early and free access to hardware and software production tools to create augmented reality audio apps.
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“Augmented audio creates fantastically rich audio experiences, enhancing the sonic landscape with additional content for gaming, entertainment, productivity and beyond,” said Sofia Brazzola, Sennheiser, who manages the developers program. “The program is aimed at sound designers and game developers who are eager to create augmented audio apps and creatively explore audio interactivity.”
Related: Apogee, Sennheiser Debut AMBEO Headset, Pro Sound News, Dec. 7, 2017
Applications for the program will be accepted from March 9 to March 31, 2018. Developers interested in learning more and registering should visit www.sennheiser.com/ambeo-augmentedaudio, which will be live from March 9.
All the creators selected will receive a free toolkit, comprising the hardware and software needed to develop augmented audio apps for iOS devices. On the hardware side, the kit includes the Sennheiser AMBEO SMART HEADSET for recording immersive binaural audio, sealing in-ear tips, and a headtracker. Software includes the AMBEO 3D binaural audio software library, the application programming interface for the AMBEO SMART HEADSET, and a fully functional demo project using Apple ARKit as an example.
Sennheiser • www.sennheiser.com
3D AMBEO Microphone — The Ultimate VR Sound Experience, Sennheiser website