Binaural recordings are reproductions of sound the way human ears hear it. In fact, the word “binaural” literally just means “using both ears.” When you listen to a binaural recording through headphones, you perceive distinct and genuine 360° sound.
It’s the purest, most natural way to record and listen to music.
Expand the frequently asked questions below to learn more. Have a question not answered here? Ask us directly.
Binaural recordings are made using a special microphone that simulates a human head (a.k.a. “Fritz”). Two microphones are built into its ear canals, which allow it to detect the location of sounds around it the same we do naturally.
When a binaural recording is played back through headphones, the listener hears exactly what Fritz heard during the performance. Every nuance of where a sound is coming from is preserved (whether it’s in front, beside, above, below or behind you).
To be able to listen back to the recording and experience the three-dimensional sound, the left and right playback channels just have to go directly to our own left and right ears.
The easiest way to do that is to listen through headphones, and any brand or style will work (nothing fancy required!). Every time you pop on your headphones, you actually have the sensation of being transported back to the location of the recording, for an immersive listening experience.
Absolutely. Binaural recordings made with “Fritz” still sound fantastic on speakers – you just won’t be able to get the 3D effect. That’s because as the sound travels through room, the left and right channels mix and your brain can’t make sense of the directional cues. (Note: Technology is currently being developed that allows proper 3D listening on speakers – find out more on our blog.)
Binaural audio has actually been around for decades (see our blog for more about binaural history), but isn’t generally favoured by the mainstream music industry, where artificially “enhancing” music is the norm. Binaural audio, on the other hand, embraces the way the world sounds naturally – and doesn’t rely on huge amounts of compression, auto-tune or artificial reverb.
The strength of binaural recording is in capturing sound exactly the way we hear it live – which allows every listener the chance to experience a performance again and again, from the best seat in the house.