The Future of Gaming Audio is Sony Tempest 3D Technology With nothing more than a set of headphones, every PS5 owner can enjoy stunning hardware-accelerated simulated spatial 3D audio in their games. You can listen to everything from older stereo and surround tracks in PS4 games to full dynamic 3D audio objects in the latest PS5 games by simply turning on the appropriate setting in the PS5’s menu.
Tempest 3D is a complete generational leap on that old technology, and it’s unlocked for all PS5 gamers, no matter what headphones or headset you use to game. You just plug in your favorite pair and go. The Tempest is powered by an additional AMD GPU compute unit located within the PS5 hardware.
The AMD GPU accelerates sound decompression and places audio in a field of a thousand different virtual locations around you. It’s one of the best implementations of this idea we’ve ever heard, and Sony seems to have achieved this by studying a large area of reference speakers, such as the Hyperion Sphere JBL in their quantum surround system. was built for.
The Future of Gaming Audio is Sony Tempest 3D Technology
Now ironically, this probably wouldn’t have happened without Microsoft’s previous generation, Sony has had a much earlier, more rudimentary version of this technology available to PS4 users.
But now it was discontinued for Sony’s own first-party headsets. If you bought their Silver, Gold, or Platinum headset, you can turn on their proprietary surround sound system, which is powered by hardware located in their USB dongle.
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Microsoft was the first company to launch a free virtual headphone audio system on game consoles with the Windows Spatial Audio platform as of 2017 on the Xbox One. The same system appears on current series consoles, and although we’ve written about it in the past – it’s not without serious implementation issues.
However, that early beta version had some glitches where it would occasionally pop and crack, requiring the user to soft-reset the system by turning it on and off. Our theory is that the software nature of the Windows Sonic platform was a bit too much for the older CPU-limited Xbox One console to handle, so Microsoft downgraded it when it launched from beta.
Now Windows Spatial Audio sounded amazing during its initial beta period, and it worked on both specialized 3D-encoded games and the standard surround audio tracks in all Xbox games.
Windows Sonic has supported more or less all modern Xbox Series compatible titles on the Series X and S, but your mileage will vary with any older. And much older Xbox 360 games running in backward compatibility throw stereo audio out of the system, despite featuring full 5.1 surround data.
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We tried new Xbox One games like Shadow of Mordor to prove our point about this problem.
Older games like Star Ocean have written bug reports to Microsoft using the surround audio tester but to little avail.
Microsoft is also unclear about when their spatial audio system is working with full surround data and when not, at least on consoles. On PCs, they have indicator text, which appears in the system tray to let you know the system is working correctly, but on Xbox you get nothing.
Older PC games have a similar problem where they see Microsoft’s systems as supporting only two channels, and so they won’t feed proper surround sound audio data to it, and you’re gaming in bog standard stereo there. That’s frustrating, and it’s even more troubling, as Microsoft offers two premium paid upgrade processing options (Dolby Atmos and DTS X) that suffer from similar inconsistencies.
The Future of Gaming Audio is Sony Tempest 3D Technology
Now Sony’s Tempest 3D has no such problem. Turn it on, and it works perfectly on all games. It will use surround tracks in PS4 games to deliver a 7.1 experience, and will also use any available 3D audio data in PS5 games to sound you up and down.
Every game that plays on the PS5 today looks amazing with the tempest turned on, with a properly positioned surround effect. This is the way it should be.
In modern PS5 games, Tempest 3D audio really comes to life with full verticality and depth. Game Spider-Man Miles Morales has a city that feels real, and many extraordinary moments that show what the system can do.
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The latter part of the game features a special boss fight, where the enemy is temporarily invisible, but with Tempest 3D on, you’ll be able to hear exactly where he is and can predict his movements. It’s just as good and better than anything we’ve heard with Microsoft’s systems so far.
We’re huge fans of virtual headphone surround systems, and Sony’s Tempest 3D is by far the most user-friendly and most impressive implementation on the market right now. And it’s so good that developers can count on every PS5 gamer to have easy access to this effect. Full conforming surround sound mics are no longer limited to those with large home theater setups.
Microsoft likes to give a built-in EQ mode and the option for gamers to purchase an upgrade to Atmos or DTS, but Sony includes a few simple tweaks for free. They also have five preset modes for different ear sizes, and a recent update enables the system to work with standard TV speakers. If you don’t want to use headphones. And if you have a Sony Pulse headset, it also unlocks a full graphical EQ in the OS, with no additional paid software needed.
Tempest 3D is exactly what we want from modern gaming audio. This is not a gimmick or “hi-res” marketing lie, designed to trick users into buying more stuff. Instead, it’s a powerful, robust platform that runs on independent hardware and doesn’t slow down games or suffer from processing glitches.
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It’s easy for users to turn on and off, and it works on all games without any problems, using the right data wisely. If you’re lucky enough to have a PS5, you should plug some headphones into your controller, and try out 3D audio.
It’s also a lot more immersive than stereo for single-player games, and its precise location positioning should help you even in competitive mode. It is now up to Microsoft to extend this and improve its software-based spatial solution.
Although how it has gone so far, we don’t have high hopes. Their system is deeply buried in several menu layers on both Xbox and Windows, and the presence of two paid upgrade options may entice more users than might be intimidating.
Windows Sonic doesn’t work with every game You may also know this, and on PC you may have to manually tweak the in files to get the correct number of audio output channels. The Future of Gaming Audio is Sony Tempest 3D Technology. Microsoft made a good first attempt at this idea, and it works well when implemented properly. But now Sony’s Tempest 3D is now at the forefront of 3D headphone audio in games. We never want to go back.