You Love 3D Movies, So Why Not Fall in Love With 3D Music?
For decades, people have been fascinated by 3D movies. Let’s face it … 3D movies are considered a true innovation and they will continue to be part of the entertainment scene for years to come. But this begs the question: Why are people watching 3D movies, but still listening to 2D music when 3D music is actually available now?
Let’s take a look back and see how 3D movies and 3D sound evolved. The first theatrical release of a 3D movie was “The Power of Love,” which premiered in 1922 at the Ambassador Hotel Theater in Los Angeles. But 3D films struggled during that era because of the costly hardware and processes required to produce and display a 3D film.
In the 1950s, however, 3D films were prominently featured in American cinema and became a huge success as movie studios tried to challenge the surging popularity of television. The special effects of 3D movies released in the 1950s — including classics like “It Came from Outer Space” and “Creature from the Black Lagoon” — wowed moviegoers and had them clamoring for more.
3D movies next encountered a global resurgence in the 1980s and 1990s, driven by the popularity of IMAX theaters and Disney theme parks. 3D films continued to grow throughout the 2000s, and exploded in popularity with the massive success of the 3D presentation of “Avatar” in 2009 and 2010. Suddenly the public’s appetite for 3D movies was insatiable, so studios were quick to render 2D blockbusters — like “The Titanic” and “Jurassic Park” — into 3D extravaganzas. Studios then began conceiving and filming movies specifically with 3D in mind, like “Hugo,” “Harold & Kumar 3D,” and “The Amazing Spider-Man.”
While 3D movies saw explosive growth, 3D sound lagged far behind in terms of cultural acceptance and enjoyment. 3D audio, however, took a quantum leap forward with the innovation of Surround Sound, which made the movie experience much more spectacular. But technology didn’t rest there and kept pushing to attain a true 3D soundfield reproduction, something that would give the listener the same 3D sound perspective as if he or she was situated right where the original sound recording took place … like a concert hall.
Researchers have zeroed in on a concept called head-related transfer function, or HRTF, which accounts for how sound waves reflect off of a person’s head and shoulders, as well as the curved surface of the person’s outer ear. If you want to replicate realistic sound coming from a particular direction, an appropriate HRTF must be applied.
Nowhere is audio technology changing more rapidly than in headphone design, where active noise control, directional drivers and 3D sound software have enhanced the 3D sound profile.
Most of the current 3D headphones have been developed to enhance visual content, like in the virtual reality (VR) industry. However, those specialized headphones require the addition of a gyroscope or motion sensors, which ratchets up the cost of those headphones. Furthermore, those headphones need to be supported by proprietary 3D audio formats; some video games even require special sound cards. The compatibility of those specialized 3D headphones is a real challenge, because of the lack of support from some VR equipment makers and platforms, as well as different audio formats and players.
In the current market, no 3D headphones are designed specifically for music. Until now … consumers can join the 3D music revolution with CAPE 3D headphones … the world’s first 3D active-noise-cancelling headphones designed for music. Enjoy music like you’ve never heard it before.