Clubhouse Rolls Out Spatial Audio to iOS Users
Clubhouse, the online audio app that this year became a social sensation, is rolling out spatial audio support for iOS users.
Hear ye, hear ye 🔊 spAAaAaAatial audio on Clubhouse! It's like surround sound, but w/ your own headphones. A more vibrant, human experience! Plus makes it much easier to tell who's talking. thanks to @juberti for this one 👏 rolling out now on iOS, Android coming soon! pic.twitter.com/Zit6F9ijRK — Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) August 29, 2021
The company announced the feature on Sunday in a tweet, in which it offered a brief demo and explained that spatial audio is "like surround sound, but with your own headphones."
In the example, individual speakers on a Clubhouse call can be heard as if their voices are in separate locations within a three-dimensional space around the listener, making it seem like everyone is situated in different places in the same a room. Clubhouse explained that users won't hear spatial audio when they're on stage, only when they're in the audience. Also, Android support is coming soon.
To be clear, this isn't Apple's version of spatial audio, which includes head tracking to make it sound like the sound is coming from your iPhone or iPad, but it shows just how much spatial audio has caught on since Apple began touting the concept.
Powered by AirPods Pro or Max and based on Dolby Atmos, Apple's implementation uses the gyroscope and accelerometer in the headphones and the iOS device to track the motion of your head and your device's position, then compares the motion data, and remaps the sound field so that it stays anchored to your device even as your head moves.
With iOS 15 set to launch next month, Apple plans to add spatial audio to FaceTime calls. Like the Clubhouse version, adding spatial audio will make it feel like you're sitting in the same room as the person you're speaking to, and in group calls, friends will sound spread out in the room.