Immerse yourself in a new sound experience!
For the first time, the Bayerisches Staatsballett/ the Bayerische Staatsoper will offer a 3D spatial sound for a completely new listening experience in the live stream of the ballet Cinderella. This stream is optimized for headphones. A multitude of microphones in the room record the sound and transport the original acoustics of the Munich Nationaltheater. Any standard headphones – regardless whether they are low-budget, expensive, old or new – can be used for this effect. Please use this stream only if you are using headphones. Otherwise the normal stereo stream will offer you the better sound quality.
If you want to know more about the technology:
Natural hearing allows the human ear to locate sound sources very exactly in a three-dimensional space. The 3D spatial sound, which we produce, takes advantage of this sensation and thus transports the original acoustics of the Nationaltheater. However, in order to reproduce such a three-dimensional acoustic experience in a living room or a home cinema, a large number of loudspeakers and special playback hardware (renderer) would be required.
We therefore use an alternative, so-called binaural technology, which works exclusively with headphones or earphones. In this case, the human ability to hear in three dimensions is already included in the transmitted sound – and thus enables the listener to experience a more spatial and authentic listening experience. To avoid that the sound effects get distorted, please deactivate any sound enhancement programs on your device (especially for notebooks, PCs).
FAQ ON 3D SPATIAL AUDIO:
Do I need specific headphones?
No. Any commercially available headphone or earphone is capable of outputting the included audio track as 3D spatial audio. The higher quality the headphones are, the higher quality the sound experience will be. Especially if you are using a notebook or PC, please deactivate any sound enhancement programs that might be installed.
What happens if I play the stream optimized for headphones with my loudspeakers?
You will still hear the music, but in a poorer playback quality. In this case, we recommend the stereo stream, as it delivers much better sound quality on speakers.
Does it matter with which device (cell phone, tablet, laptop, TV, etc.) I play the stream?
No. The 3D surround sound works as soon as you use headphones or earphones. However, if you are using a notebook or PC, please deactivate any sound enhancement programs that might be installed.
Can I use multiple headphones on one player?
Yes. Either by using a suitable cable or adapter to connect two headphones. In case of wireless headphones, they must be connected to the same output device, e.g. via Bluetooth.
I have a speaker system in my living room that can output Dolby Atmos or 5.1 surround sound: Why can't I use it to enjoy the 3D surround sound announced here?
The sound in our 3D surround sound stream is produced in such a way that it is only reproduced correctly via headphones. This works without any additional hardware or software.
What is the difference to Dolby Surround sound or 5.1 sound?
Dolby Surround is usually understood to be 5.1 playback, such as we are used to from DVD. A 5.1 system is only two-dimensional, i.e. it reproduces "left-right/front-rear". A 3D sound system, also called immersive sound system, adds speakers for the third dimension "top-bottom". Our new 3D surround sound implements this three-dimensionality for headphones.
Where is the difference to Dolby Atmos?
In the "Dolby Atmos" system, an abstract data stream is transmitted, which is optimized and distributed by hardware or software to the respective available speaker configuration during playback. This therefore works with a variety of different speaker or playback constellations. However, Dolby Atmos cannot be played back without the corresponding hardware or software. Therefore, we currently use the so-called "binaural" technology, which can only be played back on headphones, but without additional technology.
What is the difference to stereo sound?
The format "stereo" knows only one dimension, namely "left-right". In stereo, music can be recorded and played back in a very high quality, but a spatial sound experience is only possible to a limited extent. When using headphones, the listener in stereo has the feeling that the sound "originates inside his head". Our 3D surround sound offers an alternative to this, allowing for a more spatial and three-dimensional reproduction.
For orchestra music, does 3D sound mean that I virtually take the perfect position of the conductor and hear what he/she is hearing? Flutes from the left, trumpets from the right?
The localization "left-right" (and thus the L/R position of the instruments) is already well possible and contained in the stereo format. But the 3D spatial sound allows a more plastic reproduction and localization of the music in 3D space. The virtual listener position is not placed at the conductor (he is acoustically not so advantageously positioned, because much too close to the orchestra) – but rather at an optimal place in the audience.
How many microphones were installed and where?
For our production technique, both the orchestra pit and the acoustic space of the Nationaltheater in the auditorium were miked with a complex array of microphones. For the stream of the Baverisches Staatsballett on November 13, 2022, we used a total of about 32 microphones.