Fraunhofer Cingo creates an immersive surround sound experience reminiscent of the one we all know and love from the cinema. Flexible and convenient, the technology works with any pair of regular headphones or built-in stereo speakers.
Virtual surround sound for headphones
With Cingo, each audio channel can be presented as a virtual sound source, for instance as a loudspeaker in a listening room, in such a way that it is heard from a specific location and distance. The sound appears to come from “outside the head” and from outside the headphones. As a result, when using Cingo, the listener is always sitting in the sweet spot.
Virtual surround sound for stereo loudspeakers
Dedicated speaker processing enables the virtual surround feature even when sound is played back over stereo loudspeakers, such as from a laptop, tablet or larger smartphone. In these instances, the sound appears to come from outside the device and feels bigger and more spatial. The result is an engaging and compelling immersive experience that brings the listener completely into the acoustic environment.
3D immersive audio
In addition to the existing stereo or surround content, Fraunhofer Cingo supports rendering of 3D audio content with formats that add a height dimension to the sound image, such as 5.1+4 and 7.1+4. It even provides the option of placing an arbitrary number of sound objects anywhere in a virtual space around the listener. As a result, the listener can perceive sound elements in the front, behind, from above or below, and be truly immersed in a movie or a musical piece. The stunning level of reality creates an experience of “being there.”
More and more smartphones, tablets and headphones have built-in sensors to determine the listener’s head position. With the help of this sensor data, Cingo can dynamically and efficiently adjust the acoustic space so that the sound image doesn’t rotate when the listener’s head turns, but remains stable just as it would in real life. As a result, the sound image adapts naturally to the listener’s head orientation, significantly improving the 3D feeling and spatial precision.
Within a noisy environment, such as the subway or a bus, or with devices where the loudspeakers or headphones simply cannot output sufficient volume, loudness processing can be tremendously beneficial. The loudness optimization feature of Cingo delivers a natural and clear sound even in the most challenging situations while preventing unpleasant distortion or any clipping which would lead to reduced audio quality. It is particularly useful for content that is very soft or of high dynamic range.
The quality of headphones and loudspeakers can significantly limit the user’s audio experience.The equalization feature of Cingo, compensates for the lack of bass usually encountered with smartphones and tablets, and corrects any unpleasant resonance frequencies by optimizing your audio on-the-move. The innovative techniques involved were developed by studying and measuring the performance of a variety of different headphone models and loudspeakers on mobile devices.