The audio social media platform Clubhouse has started rolling out an iOS app update on Sunday that enables spatial audio support. The company has stated that the Android update will be "coming soon".
According to The Verge, this feature will work by introducing subtle spatial cues that position speakers on Clubhouse call into three-dimensional space around a user's head
This will make the remote listening experience a better approximation of being in a room full of people. It works best with headphones, either Bluetooth or wired. Clubhouse even tweeted out a video allowing users to hear for themselves how it sounds.
Clubhouse's implementation of spatial audio first assigns a specific position to each speaker and then evenly distributes them around a room. It then applies HRTFs, or head-related transfer functions, similar to what we've seen used by Microsoft in the HoloLens to make it seem like you're in the center of a conversation.
Clubhouse's implementation doesn't include head tracking like Apple's, which makes audio from Netflix and Apple TV Plus shows seem like it's coming from your playback device as you move your head.
Spatial audio is having a moment in 2021 after Apple embraced it across the company's product lines.
As per The Verge, Sony added 3D audio to the PS5 and followed the launch of the Amazon Echo Studio with its own object-based 360-degree speaker this year. Even Verizon is getting in on the game.