VR headsets use a variety of audio technologies to deliver realistic and immersive audio experiences to users. VR audio development is almost as complex as image development. Most headsets have built-in speakers and the usual 3.5 mm headphone connector, such as Meta Quest or HTC Vive. We found one of the highest quality sound solutions on the Valve Index device , which has interestingly located speakers. AR glasses, like e.g. Nreal Light, also typically come with built-in speakers and a connector. As for the technology itself, it's usually a surround type of sound or stereo sound, but there are some other types we can come across.
Surround all around
Surround sound is a technology used to create a better and more realistic sound image, especially in film and television content. It consists of multiple sound channels that are played from different speakers around the room, which makes it possible to create a 360-degree sound. This makes it possible to create the illusion that the sound comes from different places in the room. With VR headsets, it functions in an identical way – it reproduces sounds from different directions, which creates the feeling that sounds are happening in the real space around the user. It is one of the most common types of sounds used in VR devices.
You've probably heard of stereo. It is somewhat more "primitive" and consists of only two sound channels. This usually means that sounds are played from the speakers in the left and right ear. Compared to surround, it is a smaller number of channels and perhaps slightly less immersive felt. However, it still allows you to place audio relative to the user left or right in space.
In addition to 3D images, there is also 3D sound.
What allows even better localization of sound sources in space than surround is 3D sound. In 3D sound, the user can determine even more accurately where the sound source is located in the space around it. A technology called Dolby Atmos is used for just that. We could simply say that a height dimension has been added to surround sound technology. A somewhat more expensive technology, created with the same goal is a technology called binaural sound. This sound is created by placing two microfinances on human ears and thus recording sound. When this sound is played in headphones, the sound gives a real impression of the physical presence of the situation. This places the user at the correct distance and position in space.