There is no stereo, but Farouqji's spatial sound: what is it?

There is no stereo, but Farouqji's spatial sound: what is it?

The way we mainly listen to music now is in stereo. Then the sound comes from two directions: left and right, from two speakers. Instruments and vocals are split between the two sides. For example, you hear the guitar and drums on the right, but you hear the bass and guitar on the left. This gives a greater sense of space compared to its mono predecessor, where all the sound comes from one side.

Different angles

But now there is spatial audio, where with some speakers or earplugs it sounds as if the song is not coming from one box, but from different angles. “You get the feeling that the music is coming from multiple sides, and you really get a sense of spatiality with the music,” says David Van Dyck, Froekji's music producer. “You have to mix it in a special way.”

Mixing means that you combine all the audio recordings of a song in perfect proportion to each other.

The fact that spatial audio requires special mixing does not mean that only new songs can be listened to using this technology. This can also be done with old music if you remix it.

Rocket Man in Spatial Audio

For example, Elton John mixed his famous song “Rocket Man” with spatial audio, says Bright's Flores Porte. “You hear a difference, especially when the background choir comes in. Then you really get the feeling that the choir is around you.”

Spatial audio allows musicians to work more creatively, Port says. “More and more artists are doing it because they enjoy it too. Plus, Apple encourages it, and artists earn ten percent more through Apple Music if they use spatial audio.”

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New standard?

You can also listen to music using this technology with new versions of AirPods. Burr is hopeful about the future of this technology. “In the future, everything will be spatial audio. First you had mono, then stereo and now that has to become the new standard.”

But we're not there yet. Because even though spatial audio can be heard on certain types of AirPods, there are still a lot of devices where you can't hear it. Like TV. However, this does not mean that this is not the future. “With stereo, it also took a long time before it became widespread,” Port says. “But with Apple, things can happen quickly because it's a big, important brand. And Mercedes already makes cars that can do that.”

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