Simultaneous visual and aural immersion is the linchpin of a true virtual reality experience— yet, until today, the limitations of the 3D audio technology used in VR/ AR programming have prevented this true immersion from being created, rendering a VR experience with too many reminders that true reality exists elsewhere. Using patent-pending dynamic HRTFs and other new technologies featured in Dirac’s Dynamic 3D Audio platform, Dirac VR removes one of the industry’s major barriers to a truly immersive VR/AR experience. You’ll no longer notice you’re wearing a headset.  

 

It was eerily convincing.

– Carlo Lo Raso, Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity

And the Dirac VR and OSSIC both exceeded my expectations of what can be done today. VR on headphones is here to stay...and it will be growing like rabbits.

– Tyll Hertsens, InnerFidelity

 

Groundbreaking Dynamic HRTFs

 

A major barrier to the truly immersive AR/AR experience is removed with the introduction of Dirac VR, featuring patent-pending dynamic HRTFs (head-related transfer functions) which take into consideration the isolated movements of the head in relation to the human torso.

If a phone rings to your left, the sound waves enter your left ear a fraction of a second before your right, then bounce off your shoulders and head in various ways, allowing your brain to localize the sound and instinctively rotate your head to face the source. This is reality. Yet, prior to the development of dynamic HRTFs, it couldn’t be correctly reproduced virtually. Previous solutions assume that the head and the torso rotate in tandem. Such failure to accurately reproduce dynamic head movements in virtual reality is one of the reasons why existing positional sound solutions don’t sound quite realistic.

 
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High-resolution HRTF measurements

 

The torso-head dilemma isn’t the only immersion limitation resolved by Dirac VR. Existing databases of static HRTFs lack resolution and suffer from measurement noise and errors. These shortcomings of existing HRTFs result in inaccurate positioning of audio sources and sound quality degradations. To create a more immersive audio experience, the current state of the art relies on “individualized” HRTF measurements of each listener — a time-consuming and laborious process which ultimately lacks scalability. Dirac VR utilizes a highly sophisticated HRTF measurement process that, when compared to existing approaches, is exponentially more free from noise and error. And, excitingly, when this measurement process is combined with dynamic HRTFs, the benefits of individualization become virtually immaterial and ultimately obsolete. Most importantly, the combination ensures the reproduction of much more accurate, natural, positional sound without sound coloration—resulting in true immersion for the listener. 

 
 
 
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Natural and realistic three-dimensional space

 
 

In virtual reality, if someone calls out from behind you in a church, with the right audio cues you’ll not only hear the audio coming from that direction, you’ll also recognize that you are in a church (not a bathroom or a long corridor). The reason for this is that each space has its own specific acoustical behaviors that color the sound, helping you identify where you are.

Using a proprietary 3D reverberation engine, Dirac VR realistically renders the critical aspects of a room’s unique acoustics to create a sense of a specific space and distance that mirrors reality. Using the same platform, Dirac engineers have successfully recreated the acoustical behaviors of the Gothenburg Concert Hall from inside a Volvo XC90—the winner of “Best Audio System – over £25,000” at the inaugural Car Tech Awards. 

 
 

Patented headphone optimization technology

When used in combination with Dirac HD Sound, our patented digital headphone optimization technology, Dirac VR creates the ultimate immersive virtual reality experience. No matter how well designed, all headphones suffer from one fundamental problem: they are mechanical devices, and all mechanical devices produce acoustical imperfections. A fact which is detrimental to virtual reality, where any acoustical shortcoming by the headphones can distract the listener and, ultimately, destroy the whole illusion.
Using leading frequency-domain and time-domain correction algorithms, Dirac VR enhances the audio performance of headphones by minimizing any coloration attributable to the headphone itself. As a result, a more balanced and transparent sound with richer details is achieved.  

 
 
 

Accuracy is everything

For positional audio, accuracy is everything. The more accurate it is, the closer it is to reality, and the more immersed the listener will feel. A drilling machine located far in front of you should not sound like a mosquito trapped in the back of your head. If a zombie appears at 7 o'clock, 2 meters off, and you’re able to identify it instantly using accurate audio cues, gaming would be much more fun. 

With Dirac VR, you can trust your ears and the illusion remains intact. Combining the Dynamic HRTFs and 3D reverberation engine with advanced digital headphone optimization technology, we deliver far more accurate positional audio than ever—convincing externalization, realistic sense of space, accurate acoustical characteristics of different audio objects, right distance and location, and more. 

 
 

Audiophile-quality listening for VR/AR gaming, movies, and more

 
 

Whether you're playing a new game, watching your favorite movie, listening to a live concert or taking a virtual tour at a space station, Dirac VR offers you an audiophile-quality listening experience. No muddy sound, and no

artificial spatial effects or poorly placed objects reminding you that the true reality is elsewhere. Everything sounds natural and realistic, with rich details confirming your place in an alternative world.

 
 

Efficient implementation for low CPU processing

As the leading provider of post-processed audio for the smartphone industry, we have a unique know-how when it comes to low power implementations of high-end audio technology. The processing and models used for Dirac VR have been optimized for extremely low CPU requirements, and high-resolution minimum-latency tracking of micro movements of the head. The technology is optimized for battery-limited mobile devices, while at the same time enabling the highest sound performance possible.

 

This Swedish audio research company might just change the way people experience VR.

– Jordan O'Brien, Associate Editor, CE Pro Europe

 

Dirac's demo of technology destined for virtual reality use was convincing. 

 – Mark Fleischmann, Sound & Vision


News

Virtual Reality Gets Real At CES 2017 With The Launch of Dirac VR 

A final frontier in making virtual reality real will be crossed at CES 2017 when Dirac Research, the global leader in platform-optimized sound enhancement technology, introduces its Dirac VR platform featuring patent-pending dynamic HRTFs. Read the news →

Dirac Achieves Major Breakthrough in 3D Audio with First AR/VR Platform Utilizing Dynamic HRTF Technology

Dirac Research today removed a major barrier to a truly immersive AR/VR experience with the introduction of its "Dynamic 3D Audio" AR/VR platform featuring patent-pending dynamic HRTFs  Read the news →

 

Media Coverage

Residential Systems,  Feb 2, 2017

DSP at CES, And Other Audio Trends

"The system corrects the unnatural, overly localized audio inherent in headphones, by positioning a phantom image in front of the listener, where it remains as the point source, even when the listener rotates his or her head. The sound opens up as if you're listening to speakers, rather than from headphones." Read the article

Digital Trends, Feb 28, 2017

This crazy audio software can make your smartphone sound like a Hi-Fi system

"Swedish audio company prefers to operate under the radar, partnering with smartphone makers like Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, and OnePlus, high-end auto manufacturers like Rolls Royce and Volvo, and home theater brands to enhance their products’ speakers with algorithms. But at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, it stepped into the limelight with three demos that left us speechless."  Read the article

 

Secrets of Home Theater and High Fidelity, Jan 8, 2017

CES 2017 Show Report Day 4 Coverage

As I listened through the phones and turned my head, the performance stayed fixed in the same spot but it was as if I had turned in a real performance and it was effectively simulated. It was eerily convincing. Read the article

InnerFidelity, Jan 16, 2017

CES 2017: DIRAC VR Dynamic 3D Audio

How good was the demo? I'd say quite good. Very often I hear what I can only call a squeaky character in the treble. I felt the Dirac system was just more natural sounding than many I've heard.

 Read the article  

 
 

CE Pro Europe, Dec 22, 2016

 VR Audio Reimagined

This Swedish audio research company might just change the way people experience VR. Instead of just listening to the audio in a 3D environment, users may finally get the chance to immerse themselves in the fantasy – whether it be through visuals, interactivity or audio. Read the article

 

Related Dirac blog posts

In HiFi, Virtual Reality Might Be Better Than Reality

How can you achieve the perfect listening room without spending upwards of $100,000 and without even treating the room? Try a pair of headphones. And the sound system I’m referring to? It’s a virtual HiFi system. Read the post  

 

How to Make Headphones Stereo-Compatible

Have you ever wondered why music sounds so different on headphones compared to loudspeakers? It’s because, by design, headphones are not technically compatible with the stereophonic system. Read the post