On Sunday, 29 August, Clubhouse announced that their online chat rooms would now support spatial audio. With the promise of enhancing its audio functionality, the San Francisco-based company plans to implement new technologies.
The Clubhouse will roll out its new Spatial Audio feature to its iOS devices first. In spatial audio, source-based audio is transmitted via an electronic earpiece or headphone, creating a virtual environment for an enhanced user experience. Users have complained that the speaker’s voice or audio sounds flat on the platform due to the update. As soon as Clubhouse is updated with spatial audio, users will have the experience of hearing audio coming from all directions, just as in a real-life chat room.
According to Clubhouse:
“Spatial audio replicates how we hear and process voices in the same physical room, spacing individual speakers in the listener’s wired, or Bluetooth headphones (including Airpods) or car stereo system….If you prefer the old listening experience, you can turn spatial audio off anytime in your settings, but we think you’re gonna love it!”
Justin Uberti, head of streaming at Clubhouse, explained Spatial Audio will be subtle but noticeable in an interview with TechCrunch recently. It will “gently steer conversation” to put speakers on a stage so the listener can hear them as though they are speaking from different locations in real life. As of 29 August, iOS users can use the feature. Android users will get it in a few weeks. Engadget reported that Clubhouse’s wired and wireless headphones support spatial audio. Due to technical limitations, the effect will not be audible when users use Bluetooth audio but will still be applied.
Facebook is rapidly deploying audio rooms, and Twitter will take the next step soon with its Spaces option, so Clubhouse faces a significant challenge.
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