Binaural audio is a method of recording sound that uses two microphones, placed in the positions of the ears, to capture the unique cues that our ears and brain use to localize sounds in space. The resulting audio is then played back through headphones, creating a realistic and immersive 3D audio experience.
Binaural audio works by simulating the way our ears and brain perceive sound in real life. When a sound wave reaches our ears, the shape of our ears and the position of our head create subtle differences in the way the sound reaches each ear. Our brain uses these differences to locate the source of the sound in space. Binaural audio recordings capture these differences and reproduce them through headphones, creating the impression of sounds coming from all around the listener.
Sony’s 360 Reality Audio is a different approach to creating immersive audio. It uses object-based spatial audio technology to create a 3D sound field that can be adjusted in real-time to match the listener’s position and preferences. Unlike binaural audio, 360 Reality Audio does not require headphones and can be played back through any compatible speaker setup.
Dolby Atmos is another object-based spatial audio technology that is designed for use in movie theaters and home theater systems. It uses a multi-channel speaker setup to create a 3D sound field that can be customized for different room sizes and listening environments. Dolby Atmos is also available in a headphone version, which uses binaural rendering to create a similar immersive experience to Apple Spatial Audio.
In summary, binaural audio uses the unique cues of our ears and brain to create an immersive 3D audio experience, while Sony’s 360 Reality Audio and Dolby Atmos use different object-based spatial audio technologies to create a similar effect.