Clubhouse introduces Spatial Audio on iOS for enhanced immersive experience
Clubhouse is an up-and-coming social media platform that enables real-time interactions in audio-based discussion rooms. If you have an iOS device with Clubhouse installed, you will now be able to enjoy Spatial Audio in discussion rooms on the app. Clubhouse said it will help discern one speaker from another and a similar feature is in the works for Android devices. Here are more details.
hearing a lot of people in rooms playing with this and figuring it out! in case you're wondering, you will *not* hear spatial audio when you're on stage —only when you're in the audience.— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) August 29, 2021
Clubhouse started off as an exclusive iOS app that required an invite from an existing member to join—just like a real-life clubhouse. Since it opened up so anyone could join after releasing an app for Android, user interest in the app has been dwindling, accelerated by the debut of rival services like Twitter Spaces and Facebook Live Audio Rooms.
Clubhouse explained that with the new feature, you'll be able to participate in more "lifelike" interactions on the app since you wouldn't just be relying on how people sound to recognize them. Spatial Audio will help you recognize speakers by the direction from which you hear their speech, claims Clubhouse. The platform told Engadget that all wired and wireless headphones will support the feature.
TechCrunch reported that to enable the feature, Clubhouse is integrating with its services, an API developed by Philip Rosedale's spatial audio company called High Fidelity. The underlying Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) technology maps speech to different virtual directions by adding subtle time delays between stereo channels and replicating how sounds vary in frequency based on where they originate from.
Spatial audio began rolling out for iOS devices on Sunday, but there are a few caveats. Clubhouse specified that iOS users won't be able to enjoy the spatial audio effect when they speak with a Bluetooth audio device, reportedly due to technical limitations. Additionally, spatial audio is only rolling out for listeners in a discussion room and not the co-hosts and speakers, AppleInsider reported.
Clubhouse's Android users may need to wait for a few weeks before they can experience the spatial audio feature for the first time, according to TechCrunch. Users will also be able to disable the feature. Will a reduction in the cognitive effort required to interact on social media have a positive impact on the app's usage and engagement metrics? Time will tell.