What is Simulated Object-Based Audio?

Simulated object-based audio brings the power of 3D audio to your home in a compact setup, but to get truly immersive results you need the best speakers for the job.

Object-based audio has revolutionized how we enjoy movies and even video games, creating stunningly rich and immersive experiences. It's important to note, however, that object-based audio essentially falls into two separate camps: Simulated vs. discreet. The former being great for spaces too small to fit a more robust, multi-channel system, while still being capable of delivering the 3D sound you're after. The latter being ideal for spaces - and budgets - capable of supporting that big, audacious setup. Here we'll discuss simulated object-based audio and reasons why it might be the solution for you.

How simulated object-based audio works

Object-based audio takes you beyond traditional surround sound, providing atmospheric effects from all sides and even varying heights. Making it all work calls for numerous speakers, including ones that either are installed overhead or employ height modules on towers to bounce sound off the ceiling and into your listening area. Fortunately, if that full-scale discreet setup isn't right for your home, you've still got options.

Simulated object-based audio formats capture multidimensional effects in a stripped-down form. When you use a sound bar or AV receiver equipped with DTS Virtual:X or Auro3D, advanced algorithms determine the right location for incoming audio signals and position the sound appropriately. That means you can get the impression of effects coming from behind or above you like you would when using a multi-channel setup, but the audio would originate from a sound bar or a pair of speakers, for example.

Innovations in digital processing technology continue to open up new possibilities for unique home entertainment experiences when it comes to simulated object-based audio. Sound companies like Steam Audio have brought immersive effects to the soundtracks for video games, making it possible for developers to adapt audio simulations to the suit the spaces they design. And with just a few pieces of quality equipment, enthusiasts can feel a refined sense of immersion from their favorite movies, TV shows and games.

Choosing the best speakers for simulated 3D audio

To bring out the nuances that are essential for simulated object-based audio, you need speakers that are up for the task. These sonic formats are renowned for their versatility, but the key to achieving the best results is setting yourself up to create a full range soundstage that fills your listening area.

The high-performance bookshelf speakers that comprise the Definitive Technology Demand series are ideal for the job, built to deliver consistently powerful and ultra-smooth results as a more compact solution. Demand D11 speakers feature an aluminum dome tweeter that projects a precise center stereo image, along with a Linear Response Waveguide to extend frequency response and maximize dispersion. Again, it’s all about finding speakers that support the soundstage offered by simulated object-based audio. And the Demand Series can power that experience and more.

Remember, simulated object-based audio elevates home theater without having to overhaul your living room to enjoy it. So, if you're tight on space-or just not ready to go all-in on the ultimate setup for that better aligns with experiencing discreet 3D audio-there's nothing wrong with taking a more simulated approach to the sound you seek.

Explore the full range of home audio equipment available from Definitive Technology to start revamping your home theater in a way that fits your specific needs.