Virtual Surround Sound over two speakers with ARIA-3D

Steps for getting the most of your two speakers for virtual surround with ARIA-3D

Want to get the most of your two speakers and enjoy virtual surround with ARIA-3D? Follow these steps for better 3D Sound experience:

Virtual Surround requires that the original stereo has adequate differences between the left and the right channel (i.e. guitar on the left, voice on the right, sound effects with motion etc.). If there are no differences in the recording / mix or if the track is mono, the effect cannot be applied and the sound will be perceived in the center.

1. Bring your speakers close to each other

If you use the speakers of your laptop or tablet, obviously, you don’t have to do anything. If you use external speakers though, you should bring them close to each other, as depicted in the figure above.

This setup is called a Stereo Dipole.

2. Find your distance to the speakers and your angle to each one of them

You should center yourself between the speakers at a distance of at least 0.5m up to 3m or more, depending on your speakers size and listening space. Your listening position should create an angle of about 5° to 15° to each speaker (or equivalently a 10° to 30° span). The closer you move to the speakers your angle increases, whilst the further you move from them the angle decreases.

It’s all about geometry. You should experiment to find your Sweet Spot, where the 3D sound perception is maximized. As an example, a distance of about 1m and angle 9° is usually a good choice for listening over laptop speakers.

3. Adjust the ARIA-3D parameters accordingly

a. Make sure to select “SPEAKERS” at the dashboard

b. Click on “3D AUDIO” at the menu

c. Set your angle to each speaker

ARIA-3D should “know” what your angle to each speaker is, in order to calculate the appropriate filters. If you are not sure don’t worry. Just click on the available angles and try until you find the one that maximizes your 3D sound experience.

Remember that your distance should be at least 0.5m.

d. Set the 3D Sound level

ARIA-3D offers a convenient method for adjusting the amount of 3D in percentage.

In general, the low and the high frequencies do not offer significant information for 3D sound, so it is better to keep them at low levels. On the contrary, the mid frequencies carry the most information of 3D sound, so the percentage should be higher. If you experience distortion for very high values though, try to lower it. Usually 60% to 90% gives satisfying results depending on the track and its quality.

Mid frequencies are more important than low and high.

4. Extra Tips

  • Avoid to place your speakers close to walls or surfaces that produce strong reflections. Such reflections could significantly reduce your 3D sound immersiveness.
  • Make sure to disable all of your sound card’s effects.
  • Use the ARIA-3D equalizer for fine tuning your 3D sound.
Boosting moderately the frequencies from 250Hz up to 6KHz will enhance your 3D immersiveness.

If you have not already done so, you can get the ARIA-3D Chrome Extension here and enjoy virtual surround for any website. More info at the ARIA-3D website.


What is your personal experience with the ARIA-3D sound?