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Definition: Immersive Audio


A set of criteria defined by the Society of Motion Picture and TV Engineers (SMPTE) for channel-, object- and scene-based surround sound technologies. Due to the success of Auro-3D in 2010 and Dolby Atmos in 2012, SMPTE finalized its Immersive Audio standards in 2019 as SMPTE 2098. The Audio Digital Cinema Package (DCP) is a SMPTE standard that allows any immersive mix to be played in a conforming theater. See SMPTE, surround sound and Immersive Sound.

Channel Based
Channel-based audio records the sound sources in separate pathways, the most common being stereo (left and right) and the home theater 5.1 layout (left, right, center, surround and subwoofer). For more details on channels, see home theater speakers.

Object Based
Object-based audio relies on channels along with meta-data that describes where the sound should be located.

Scene Based
Higher Order Ambisonics (HOA) treats the audio environment as a sphere all aimed at the center where the microphone is located. Ambisonics has not yet been endorsed by major studios. See Ambisonics.