According to the company, the Android update is “coming soon”. The feature works by introducing subtle spatial cues that position speakers on Clubhouse calls into three-dimensional space around your head, making the remote listening experience a better approximation of being in a room full of people. It works best with headphones, either Bluetooth or wired. Clubhouse earlier tweeted a video allowing users to hear how it sounds.
For those wondering what spatial audio is. Spatial Audio enables one to hear three-dimensional audio from supported videos that follow the movement of your iPhone or iPad. It effectively recreates a cinema-style experience, where sounds appear to be coming from all around you – front, behind, from the side, even above your head. When you’re in the audience, you’ll now hear the people around you in 3D, which makes the experience a bit more lifelike and human. It’s also easier for your brain to track who is talking, thanks to subtle spatial cues. Spatial audio works best with headphones, wired or otherwise!
Clubhouse’s implementation of spatial audio first assigns a specific position to each speaker and then evenly distributes them around a room. It then applies HRTFs, or head-related transfer functions, similar to what we’ve seen used by Microsoft in the HoloLens to make it seem like you’re in the center of a conversation. Clubhouse’s implementation doesn’t include head tracking like Apple’s, which makes audio from Netflix and Apple TV Plus shows seem like it’s coming from your playback device as you move your head.
Spatial audio is having a moment in 2021 after Apple embraced it across the company’s product lines. Sony added 3D audio to the PS5 and followed the launch of the Amazon Echo Studio with its own object-based 360-degree speaker this year. Even Verizon is getting in on the game.