Oculus improves VR audio, making it seem closer and more realistic
For a user to enjoy the very best of virtual reality (VR) experiences, then the audio aspect of it can just be as important as the visual aspect. That’s why Oculus recently made some changes to the Rift SDK which gives its developers the power to make spatial audio seem as realistic as possible. One of the features which the company added is the Near-Field head-related transfer function (HRTF).
Ordinarily, HRTF is necessary for the creation of 3D audio experience, however it can only replicate how sounds would reach the ears from a meter away. The improved version can however mimic how sounds would reach the ears from a much closer perspective. For example, it can make the sound of a phone ringing, much more life-like as you bring it closer to your ears.
Experience the difference in the sample audio below:
Users could also experience some realistic-sounding waterfalls and oceans in the future, owing to the fact that Oculus also added Volumetric Sound Sources to its SDK. This new feature allows developers to grant huge sources of sound a radius rather than a single source of origin. Once the radius is stepped into, the user will be able to hear sounds all around him/her.
According to the Oculus team, these improvements were made because they want users to experience a new world upon entering a VR experience. Oculus Audio Design Manager, Tom Smurdon said:
“All these little cues that you’re used to having in real life — they aren’t there in VR. We’re slowly adding them in. Every little piece is cumulative, and it makes a huge difference.”