Razer THX Spatial Audio brings Playstation 5 Tempest Engine-like features to your PC for $19
During Sony's hour-long PS5 talk back in March, the manufacturer spent about a quarter of its presentation on the audio capabilities of the upcoming console. Namely, the system will be able to simulate 360-degree audio on stereo headphones to give a better sense of presence and locality when gaming without the need for a traditional 7.1 surround sound setup. There's no reason why similar technology can't be made available for regular Windows 10 PCs or laptops.
THX Spatial Audio software, which launches today, processes stereo, 5.1, or 7.1 sound sources and then outputs them as 3D audio to any pair of stereo or better headphones. The technology and HRTF approach may be different from what Sony is trying to do, but the goal is essentially the same between them. Users will be better able to identify where and how far the enemy may be based solely on their audio cues as if the player is standing in the game world.
The software rendering engine works at the driver level to bypass any existing third-party post process audio software that may already be installed. Most MSI or Gigabyte gaming laptops, for example, usually come with pre-installed audio software for users to tinker with. The makers are claiming minimal CPU utilization and almost no latency when the application is active.
THX Spatial Audio costs $9.99 for users who already own a 7.1 Razer headset as part of a promotion between the two companies. For everyone else, it's going to be $19.99. Audio has always been a harder sell compared to visuals, so users can thankfully try the software for free before committing to a purchase. A login will be required. Essentially all movies and modern games are compatible, but some will naturally benefit more from 3D audio than others. From our experience, top-down games like FIFA 20 or DOTA 2 will not give users as large of an audio advantage when compared to competitive first-person shooters or over-the-shoulder games.