Ever heard of Sennheiser? I bet you have. They’re getting into the VR industry in a big way – $1700 big – with their newly released made-for-VR AMBEO VR Microphone.
Sennheiser’s made a name for itself in the enthusiast audio market, with a series of greatly respected products such as the HD800 for studio use, the portable Momentum Wireless headset, and the almost ubiquitous performance microphones you see on-stage, in recording studios, and high-end karaoke locations. It’s a serious company creating serious hardware for various uses, and with their AMBEO VR, VR Audio is starting to rev up.
Previously reported on this site was the Ossic “dedicated VR headset” on Kickstarter, Audeze Planar Magnetic Technology earphones, and a little new s item concerning THX‘s release of a VR-centric audio processing chip. So Sennheiser is entering the market in good company.
The AMBEO VR Mic is specifically designed for virtual reality surround capture, utilizing, according to Sennheiser’s webpage “four matched KE 14 capsules in a tetrahedral arrangement. This special design allows you to capture the sound that surrounds you from a single point. As a result you get fully spherical ambisonics sound to match your VR video/spherical 360 content.”
AMBEO is actually Sennheiser’s name for a whole suite of products and techniques centered around 3D sound, of which the VR Microphone is but a single component. This forward-thinking initiative prepared the way for Sennheiser to introduce this mic back in CES 2016 – in the same way all of the various technologies has come together to create the VR ecosystem as we know it now. VR Sound is really an important piece of this ecosystem, and Sennheiser’s entry is a great sign of its continuing maturity.