Spatial Audio Formats
distribute 360-degree video to virtual reality platforms and players
More and more possibilities for an immersive audio experience can be seen – or better heard.
Since different platforms sometimes require different spatial audio file formats, I want to give a brief overview of the current situation in terms of virtual reality sound.
If you want to know more details, read my article about the pros and cons.
- YouTube now supports iOS devices for spatial audio playback
- YouTube also enables stereoscopic VR180 Videos
- The Desktop Version of Oculus Video for Oculus Rift now supports the "Two Big Ears" Format.
- HTC Vive Cinema supports a great variety of surround sound formats!
- GoPro VR Player (former: Kolor 360° Video Player) now supports spatial audio!
- Mach1 Spatial Audio added to SamsungVR for GearVR and Android
- VideoLAN VLC Media Player (VLC 3.0 Vetinari) now supports higher order ambisonics
- Windows Mixed Reality Headsets (e.q. Samsung Odyssey) are supported by Vive Cinema via Viveport. Credits to GRID Lab at Ohio University. Vive Cinema is also supported by Oculus.
- Samsung Gallery for GearVR claims to have "3D spacial sound". You get a feel of head-tracked sound, but even if you load a stereo, it will create two sound objects in space which will rarely correspond with the visual.
- Oculus Video Player for GearVR both Two Big Ears and ambiX
- Oculus Go added. Oculus Video Player and Oculus Gallery allow watching videos made for YouTubeVR and FacebookVR offline as mp4 before uploading. SamsungVR Video works similarly to GearVR. Thanks to Angelo Farina for testing.
- YouTube now supports an optional Head-Locked Stereo track similar to Facebook, but mapped to channel 5+6 while channel 1-4 remain First Order Ambisonic (FOA), Ambix
- Due to popular request, I added a headline for iOS devices, such as iPhone, iPad and iMac. Also: VeeR VR added to iOS devices for VR.
If you know about any updates, please let me know:
Online Video Platform
|4 channel Ambisonics,
6 speaker setup,
quad-layout at 0°, 90°, 180° and 270°,
isotropic spatial: 8×1
|Android App, GearVR Oculus App, Desktop Internet Browser||https://samsungvr.com/portal/content/content_specs|
|YouTube||Ambix||4 channels, First Order Ambisonic (FOA) Now with optional Head-Locked Stereo track||Works on Android 4.2 and Chrome Browser for desktop, Update: Now also iOS||https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6395969?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en|
|Two Big Ears||8 channels, Hybrid Higher Order Ambisonics + optional stereo track for static sounds||works on pretty much all devices||https://facebookincubator.github.io/facebook-360-spatial-workstation/|
|JauntVR||Dolby Atmos VR, Ambisonics||“support Dolby Atmos, as well as all other ambisonic, surround and standard audio formats."||Android App, GearVR Oculus App, Desktop Internet Browser||https://www.jauntvr.com/creators/|
|LittlstarVR||Dolby Atmos VR||6 channel EC3 transcoded Atmos Printmaster File (.atmos)||Android App, GearVR Oculus App, Desktop Internet Browser||-> Content Publishers https://www.dolby.com/us/en/professional/content-creation/vr.html|
|Vimeo||no spatial audio yet||currently no statement about it||–||https://join.vimeo.com/360/|
Apps for Android devices that work offline
4 & 16 channels
|supports the same format as YouTube FOA (first-order ambisonic) and additional a support for TOA (third order ambisonic) with 16 audio tracks||Android Smartphone, check link ->||https://support.google.com/jump/answer/6382788?hl=en|
|same as stated above, but works also without a GearVR||GearVR Oculus App, Desktop Internet Browser||https://samsungvr.com/portal/content/content_specs|
Samsung GearVR (Oculus Store)
|Oculus Video Player||Two Big Ears, Ambix||YouTube FOA works same as for uploading to YouTube. For Facebook: mp4 is not supported, but experimental MKV-Opus for tbe
Before: Ambix and .mkv-container. Before: FuMa
|Samsung VR||see above||see above||https://samsungvr.com/portal/content/content_specs|
|Samsung Gallery||fake spatial sound||when playing a video with a plain stereo soundtrack, it gets spatialized as two point sources which are head-tracked. Can be a nice effect but is mostly confusing||https://www.oculus.com/experiences/gear-vr/1113617725394318/|
|JauntVR||Dolby Atmos VR, Ambisonics||see above||https://www.jauntvr.com/creators/|
|Oculus Video Player||Two Big Ears, Ambix||see above, but allows mp4s with tbe-format. So Side-Loading of YouTube and Facebook Videos now possible inside one app||https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/838122072929207/|
|Oculus Gallery||see Oculus Video Player||works similar to Oculus Video Player||https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/1783939024969036/|
|Samsung VR Videos||see above||see above||https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/837075486363650/|
|SKYBOX VR Video Player||spatial audio not supported||/||https://www.oculus.com/experiences/go/1256687334386627/|
iOS Devices (iPad, iPhone, iMac, Macbook etc.)
Since Apple is lagging a bit behind, I want to show some possibilities to play back 360° Video with spatial sound on those devices due to popular request
|FB360 Two Big Ears||8+2 channels, so above. Use Chrome Browser or Firefox on desktop, Safari usually not supported. Use dedicated Facebook App on iPhone or iPad||https://facebookincubator.github.io/facebook-360-spatial-workstation/|
|YouTube||Ambix, FOA||Update: Now also iOS. Use Chrome Browser or Firefox on desktop, Safari usually not supported. Use dedicated Facebook App on iPhone or iPad||https://support.google.com/youtube/answer/6395969?co=GENIE.Platform%3DDesktop&hl=en|
|VeeR VR||"4-channel first order ambisonics"||Global VR Content Community for Oculus, Windwos Mixed Reality, Vivi, Mi, Daydream. But sound for WebVR and Android is under currently development so it’s not listed in the other tables||https://veervr.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360004268513-Support-for-spatial-audio-ambisonic|
Desktop Computer, Oculus Rift or HTC Vive
|GoProVR||2nd and 3rd order ambisonics; no tbe yet||former named Kolor Eyes Player||http://www.kolor.com/gopro-vr-player/download/ ; https://github.com/google/spatial-media/blob/master/docs/spatial-audio-rfc.md|
|HTC Vive Cinema||Ambisonics Ambix (1st, 2nd or 3rd order); ITU 5.1, 7.1; TBE||Supports a great variety: FOA, TBE, 2nd HOA, or 3rd HOA with 4, 9 or 16 channels each. Also standard loudspeaker ITU 5.1, 7.1 and Two Big Ears format by metadata||https://www.viveport.com/apps/ed3adb70-9390-4ca3-863a-26b5fd08b8d7|
|FB360 Videoplayer||Two Big Ears||Not only works as a slave with a DAW, but as standalone on a Desktop as well as Oculus Rift and Vive. Just import your video and .tbe-file||https://facebookincubator.github.io/facebook-360-spatial-workstation/Documentation/SpatialWorkstation/SpatialWorkstation.html#video-player|
|Oculus Video Player||Two Big Ears||Encode your video with the tbe wav-file just like for GearVR. Experimental MKV-Opus with lossless compression||https://facebookincubator.github.io/facebook-360-spatial-workstation/KB/OculusVideoOnRift.html|
|OZO Preview||Ambix||supports the native format of Nokia Ozo camera, which is a for channel ambisonics B-Format||https://ozo.nokia.com/ozo_en/blog/OZO-update-1_5_0/|
|VLC Media Player||Higher Order Ambisonics, 5.1, 7.1||Ambisonics audio renderer, supporting up to 3rd Order; Binauralizer working with Ambisonics or 5.1/7.1 streams||https://www.videolan.org/vlc/releases/3.0.0.html|
|AudioEase WebVR||Ambix||just add the video and sound you would need for YouTube without the need to uploading anything||https://www.audioease.com/360/webvr/|
|Labs 8Plan||Ambix, FuMa||similar to AudioEase, but for sound only on Chrome Browser||http://labs.plan8.se/ambisonics-webplayer/|
|Harpex-B Player||Ambix||free to download, an Ambisonic B-Format Decoder to play around with your audio on Headphones or surround loudspeaker||http://harpex.net/download.html|