Fraunhofer IIS has been successfully developing audio coding technologies for many years. The goal of these technologies is to store and transmit audio signals in optimum quality. But what good is having the best audio quality if devices can only reproduce it inadequately? To address this prob- lem, scientists at Fraunhofer IIS have developed the Cingo® and Symphoria® technologies to improve playback sound quality.
3D sound is already in movie theaters near you. But incredibly, listening to 3D sound on cell- phones through headphones will soon be an everyday reality too. Although it might sound like a distant vision or even a pipe dream, it is actually already common practice for users of virtual reality headsets equipped with Fraunhofer technology. And Fraunhofer 3D sound is also providing more realistic music experiences in cars.
To bring big sound to small devices such as smartphones, tablets, and VR headsets and into cars, developers at Fraunhofer IIS have been working in the area of audio coding and audio signal processing for many years. In audio coding, the focus is on reducing the volume of data to be transmitted. Fraunhofer IIS played a major role in developing the best-known examples of this technology: mp3 and AAC. In audio signal processing, the focus is on improving the sound on the respective device.
Whether on their smartphones or in home cinemas, users expect best-quality sound
The days when movies, music, and games were consumed only on TV sets or PCs have long gone. Nowadays people consume entertainment on a whole range of devices, such as smartphones and tablet computers, and in their cars. This calls for a seamless crossover between platforms. To give an example: a user might buy a movie on their PC and watch the first half on TV and then watch the rest on the way to work the next morning. In spite of the different video and audio playback systems, buyers expect excellent picture and sound quality on all devices – even though the technical preconditions to make this possible are not always fulfilled. For instance, smartphones have small screens and often poor loudspeakers and cheap headphones. And although cars often feature high-end sound systems, the acoustic conditions inside vehicles are difficult on account of the loudspeaker positions, driving noises, and narrow passenger compartments.