Nobody’s Paying Attention to Audio

Panasonic Avionics< Panasonic Avionics
07/05/23 2 MIN READ

Quadraphonic sound? Swinging the bass? Panning to mono? If what you’re reading makes sense to you, you’ll definitely want to hear Andy Masson and Matt Marrin, CEO and Co-Founder of HEAR360, have a chat about why the in-flight audio experience is just as important as the visual.

Andy and Matt dig into rising consumer expectations, the idea of personal sound, and why spatial audio is so important to the overall audio experience, both on the ground and in the air. Plus, they discuss the future of in-flight audio—without headphones!

Rising consumer expectations

The importance of audio experiences has been on the rise for years. First, Hollywood led the charge on their biggest blockbusters, investing in sound to keep up with the stunning visuals that customers see on screen. This was closely followed by the advent of virtual and augmented realities, which felt disjointed without immersive audio to match.

And with display technologies quickly catching up—notably with 4K OLED in-flight systems being adopted at a rapid pace—audio has to keep pace, too.

The drive to improve sound on the ground has inevitably led to a consumer expectation to have the same experience while flying. Ever since Apple removed the audio jack with iPhone 7 in 2016, and introduced spatial audio to the masses in 2021, more and more passengers are bringing high-quality Bluetooth headphones on-board, and expecting them to work.

Personal sound

Most people hear with two ears, but that doesn’t mean the experience is the same for everyone. Personal sound technologies, like spatial audio, exist to optimize the sound quality from an audio device to sound best for the individual listener.

On an aircraft, where passengers are all experiencing their in-flight entertainment through headphones, this couldn’t be more important. Matt and Andy agree, a premium IFE experience deserves a premium audio experience.

Spatial audio

What is spatial audio anyway? In short, spatial audio mimics the experience of being physically in a space, emulating how you might naturally hear without headphones on.

For a more in-depth read, give our blog post on spatial audio a read.

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