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BBC investigates "3D" audio

BBC sound engineers are conducting research into a branch of surround sound in which speakers are placed above, below, behind and in front of the listener in order to immerse the individual in sound.

Technicians have already built a prototype with eight speakers which was used to wow audiophiles with the sound of planes taking off, choral singing and drama.

Though widespread introduction remains years away it is thought that internet broadcasts could allow those with sufficient speakers to experience 3D sound more readily.

It is thought that in car audio devices are particularly ideal for the system, with speakers already pre-positioned around the vehicle.

Future technological developments could reduce the number of required speakers by improving existing television “sound bars” so that they are able to project audio from above the viewer, as well as behind.

Despite the intriguing possibilities such systems offer a BBC spokesperson cautioned it remains years off, they said: “BBC Research and Development are committed to investigating 3D sound’s potential but these investigations are still firmly rooted in the realms of research.”

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