Harman and Motorola Implement Dirac Panorama Sound for Smartphones

September 29 2017, 04:00
Home theater quality audio from a smartphone? Yes, it is possible to have an almost fully immersive experience, even from the limited speakers of a smartphone. Add a slightly better speaker, and the experience can be truly amazing, thanks to the Dirac Panorama Sound technology from audio signal processing experts Dirac Research. And now there is a commercial implementation of this mobile surround sound solution, integrated in the JBL Soundboost 2 speaker cover exclusively for Motorola moto z smartphones.

Watching movies on smartphones has just become far more cinematic, thanks to the digital sound optimization technology from Dirac Research. That is, for those buying a Motorola moto z smartphone with a "speaker cover" branded JBL from Harman, called the JBL Soundboost 2. That's a cover exclusively available for the moto z Android smartphones - a brand now owned by Lenovo. It might not exactly be very appealling to watch movies on a Android phone and invest in acccesories for it, but at least it is a combination that allows consumers to actually experience the amazing Dirac Panorama Sound technology by listening to a demo on any store.

The JBL Soundboost 2 speaker, combined with the JBL MySoundBoost 2 application, is equipped with the Dirac Panorama Sound speaker-optimization solution, allowing a truly immersive surround sound listening experience from small portable devices, such as tablets or smartphones.

“Through this collaboration, we are changing what the world thinks is possible from their mobile devices,” says Erik Rudolphi, Dirac’s General Manager – Mobile. “This isn’t just more volume or a fake surround sound gimmick. Dirac Panorama Sound combines new mobile audio developments with breakthroughs we’ve made in the Hi-Fi home theater audio market to create a surround sound experience from a device smaller than anyone thought possible – where the individual speakers are only inches apart from one another. It only takes one listen to be blown away by the incredible stereo channel separation and resolution of sound sources – your brain hears far more than it expects or is used to hearing from a such a small device.”

The technology behind Dirac Panorama Sound is fundamentally different than other mobile audio solutions. Unlike traditional technologies that rely on phase shift to create an impression of spaciousness, Dirac has developed a patented crosstalk cancellation algorithm that efficiently isolates the left and right stereo channels – as they exist in a surround sound set-up – and delivers each signal directly into the listener’s corresponding ears. By doing so, the listener hears in each ear sound that is isolated, separated, and unaffected by the other channel, even though both audio channels emit from a source where the individual speakers are within three inches of each other. The net result of this audio breakthrough is an immersive surround sound home theater-like listening experience generated through a portable speaker.

“The JBL Soundboost 2 transforms a Motorola moto z smartphone into a complete entertainment system, and that’s never been more true than with the Dirac Panorama Sound-equipped app,” says Peter Liu, VP and General Manager of Harman Embedded Audio. “It’s our unwavering mission to provide customers with the best possible listening experience, regardless of their location – be it a subway, an airplane, or in the confines of their home. With the Dirac-enabled Soundboost 2, Motorola customers can rest assured that their mobile listening experience is one that’s unparalleled in the market and truly best-in-class.”

Dirac Panorama Sound was presented earlier in 2017 at Mobile World Congress 2017 to rave reviews, and has been turning heads, literally, as listeners experience this entirely new standard in mobile audio. According to Rudolphi, this collaboration is representative of an emerging mobile industry trend. Hopefully, it will quickly expand to other devices, brands and OS platforms.

"As the smartphone increasingly becomes a primary device for entertainment consumption – both while on-the-go and at home – consumers are demanding audio that’s equally as hi-res as its visual counterpart,” concluded Rudolphi. “By teaming up with these two market leading pioneers to develop the Soundboost 2, we’re providing Motorola moto z smartphone users across the globe with a complete entertainment experience that’s both portable and immersive. We can’t wait for the world to hear the difference!”
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