What is Headphone Virtualization and How it works?

Headphone virtualization is a sound giving out the technique in which standard stereo headphones offer a surround sound experience via chips or sound cards based on integrated digital signal processing (DSP). Activation takes place via the operating system or the firmware/driver of the sound card.

A listener can experience the sound of the virtual speakers through headphones with a realism that is difficult to distinguish from the actual speaker experience. PRIRs (Personalized Room Impulse Response)sets records for the loudspeaker sound sources with a limited number of headphone positions. Uses of PRIRs to convert an audio signal for the speakers into a virtualized output for the headphones. By basing the transformation on the part of the listener’s head, the system can adjust the change so that the virtual speakers do not appear to move when the listener moves their head.


With headphone virtualization, two-channel headphones can deliver Dolby 5.1 or better sound performance. It bases on the principles of HRTF (Head-Related Transfer Functions) technology, which uses the structural design of a human head to transmit various sound signals.

Unlike conservative headphones, which stream sound straight into the ears, headphone virtualization delivers sound outside or around the head’s listening experience. A user can easily distinguish the noises occurring from left to right, right to left or centre to bottom, etc.

The only difference with the surround headphones you’ll find on many sound cards there will be the use of convolution. Instead, they can use functions that attempt to mimic the impulse responses of the middle ears with additional environmental influences. However, these virtualizations treat as loudspeakers placed around the ears. Passing the pulses now leads to answers from these surround methods. Which can use with the Equalizer APO convolve to make your Windows audio look as if it can process with one of these headphone surround virtualizations.

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The Virtual surround sound and Sound cues

Most of the people had the experience of sitting in a tranquil room, such as a classroom, during a test and having the silence broken by an unexpected noise, such as coins falling out of someone else’s pocket. ‘one. Usually, people immediately turn their heads to the sound source. Turning to the sound seems almost instinctual – in an instant, your brain determines the location of the sound. It is frequently true even if you can only hear with one ear.

A people can localize sound bases on the brain’s analysis of the sound’s qualities. One quality has to do with the difference between the sound your right ear hears and the sound your left ear hears. Another reason concerns the interactions between sound waves and the head and body. Together, these are the acoustic signals that the brain uses to determine where a sound is coming from.

Differences in time and level give your brain idea of ​​whether a sound is coming from the left or right. However, these differences contain less information about whether the sound is coming from the top or the bottom. Because changing the level of a sound affects the path it takes to reach your ear, but not the difference between what you hear in your left and right ears.

It is difficult to tell if a tone is coming in front or behind of you, relying only on differences in time and level. Indeed, in some cases, these sounds can produce identical ILDs and ITDs. Even though the sounds come from a different place, the differences in what your ears hear are still the same. ILDs and ITDs are cone-shaped areas that extend outward from your ear and are called the cone of confusion.

PILs and ITDs require people to be able to hear in both ears. But people who cannot attend in one ear can still often determine the source of the sound. Because the brain use sound reflection on the surfaces of an ear to locate the start of the sound.

When a sound wave hits a person’s body, it reflects the person’s head and shoulders. It reflects on the curved surface of the person’s outer ear. Each of these reflections causes subtle changes in the sound wave. Reflective waves interfere with each other, making parts of the wave larger or smaller and changing the volume. These variations are known as Head-Relate Transfer Functions (HRTFs).