How does 3D audio support benefit the PS5?

Best answer: 3D audio should give players a more immersive gaming experience and allow them to pick up directional sounds they were unable to before, possibly even giving them an advantage in a match.

What is 3D audio support?

3D audio emulates real-life sound waves by producing sounds that come from all directions in a 3D space but having it emanate from one point.

When you're sitting in a room, your ears should be able to detect which direction a sound is coming from and how far away it is, like if a phone in another room rings or something falls off of a shelf next to you. Usually, normal stereo speakers can't provide the same type of feedback, which means you cannot distinguish the direction a sound is coming from, nor if it is far or close to you. 3D audio can replicate these effects from just two speakers, and it can even help pinpoint if a sound is coming from above or below you.

How will it benefit PlayStation 5 games?

Not only does this provide a more realistic and immersive gaming experience on PS5, but it should also improve your ability to simply play the games you enjoy. How often have you heard a noise in a multiplayer match and couldn't tell which direction it came from, only to be gunned down seconds later in your confusion? 3D audio — or just a good pair of headsets — should mitigate this issue. You can tell which direction an attack is coming from before you even see it.

How is it different from surround sound?

Both are similar to one another, but the biggest difference is that surround sound is created by using multiple speakers around the room to your left, right, front, and back. This mimics how you would hear noises in real life to an extent, but it's not as effective as 3D audio, which only needs one source to provide complete special audio. Sound waves coming from surround sound can sometimes muddle together, whereas 3D audio does not have this problem.

What if I don't care about 3D audio?

In a deep dive with the PS5's specs, Mark Cerny confirmed that people would be able to switch back and forth between 3D audio and the older stereo audio used on the PlayStation 4.

Jennifer Locke
Games Editor - PlayStation, Android, VR

Jennifer Locke has been playing video games nearly her entire life. You can find her posting pictures of her dog and obsessing over PlayStation and Xbox, Star Wars, and other geeky things.