Our PlayStation 5 is not only capable of giving us really impressive graphics up to 4K HDR. It also allows us to enjoy truly incredible surround sound quality. It is precisely for this reason that we are going to talk about how and why we should configure 3D audio in our PS5something that we can enjoy with almost any kind of headset.
What is 3D audio?
Tempest 3D Audio is a proprietary 3D audio technology from Sony and very similar to Dolby Atmos. It is possible thanks to the AMD GPU that Sony uses in PS5 to enable spatial audio based on hardware controlled objects.
This technology is meant to simulate a more realistic soundscape with audio coming from all directions, much like what the company implemented in the original PSVR headset a long time ago. Thanks to 3D audio we can better distinguish the direction of a sound and live sound effects that are based on more immersive objects such as echoes or reverberation.
3D audio does not work in all games. Obviously, we can expect big franchise titles to work with this audio quality.
When we have this option enabled, the PS5 can assign 5.1 and 7.1 channel surround sound to the current audio output device. It wouldn’t be true object-based surround sound, but it is capable of providing a more immersive audio experience when compared to traditional stereo output.
What do we need to be able to configure 3D audio on PS5?
We don’t really need much, 3D Audio works with standard headsets just fine, as long as they’re designed for use with PS5. It even works with virtual surround sound TV speakers.
Although we can assure you that the best way to experience 3D audio is without a doubt with headphones. Best of all, any kind of cue headset can be used to experience this kind of sound by simply plugging it into the 3.5mm stereo jack on the PS5 DualSense controller.
Those headphones that connect directly to the PS5 via USB connection or thanks to a low latency wireless dongle will also work with 3D Audio. The console does not support Bluetooth headsets officially, although there are some solutions to connect a Bluetooth headset and make it work without problems, even with 3D audio support.
For its part, Sony also added support for virtualized surround sound using TV speakers. The results are somewhat variable, especially for those speakers that are incorporated into SmartTVs that are not exactly of good quality. Although if we have an external sound system, we can make the most of this.
Is 3D audio really worth it?
The first thing we should take into account is that the audio quality of our PS5 will depend to a large extent on what we are using to output the audio in question. So we’ve tested 3D Audio with standard Apple EarPods connected to a DualSense controller and achieved truly impressive sound quality. Despite the fact that the headphones did not have the best sound reproduction quality, the surround effect was magnificent.
If we do this with quality headphones like PULSE 3D or SteelSeries Artics 7P+, then the sound quality will be even higher. Although we were a bit disappointed to hear 3D Audio through the TV’s speakers. In our case it made the audio sound more hollow and metallic.
Set up 3D audio on PS5
We are going to have to turn on our console and go to Settings> Sound, here we will see two options: 3D Audio for TV speakers and 3D Audio for headphones. Both will give us the possibility to adjust our audio experience, we will only have to make sure that what we choose is already connected.
In the event that we do not want to use 3D Audio later, we can return to this same place and deactivate it in the same way.
Configuring 3D audio for headphones
We’ll go through the headset setup process by choosing the best-sounding 3D audio profile. This means choosing which pitch will sound most natural and we can’t forget to switch between samples using the triangle button on our remote.
On the next screen, we’ll have the chance to hear a comparison between standard stereo sound and 3D audio. We will have to press the X on the remote to select the one that sounds best, then the circular button to finish the process.
Configuring 3D audio for TV speakers
Here it will be important to measure the acoustics of the room with the microphone of our DualSense controller. We will press Next in the configuration screen to start, we will have to make sure that we do not have cables connected to the controller.
Next, we’re going to have to sit in the common playing position, with the controller at the same ear level. We will turn off any additional sources of noise (fans, close windows, etc.) and then we will press Start Measurement.
We are going to hear a noise that may sound strange and the measure will be taken. Then, we press OK and we will switch between Stereo and 3D Audio to hear the comparison of both outputs. The next thing will be to press X on the controller of the configuration that we like the most.
In case we change the furniture or television, we will have to reapply the previous measurement configuration.