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Apple Air Pods 3rd Generation - Spatial audio

Across its product line, Apple is rolling out new spatial audio features, which create immersive, multidimensional sound that mimics surround sound. At its October 2021 Unleashed event, Apple announced that its new AirPods 3 and MacBook Pro laptops will be equipped for spatial audio, after first unveiling the functionality, powered by Dolby Atmos, for Apple Music in June 2021. “Apple Music is making its biggest advancement ever in sound quality,” says Oliver Schusser, vice president of Apple Music and Beats.

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Audio company Spatial unveiled its first suite of products in March 2021. The new startup creates immersive, interactive soundscapes for public spaces, including lobbies, retail stores, offices and even hospitals. The bespoke soundscapes are designed to have a specific emotional impact on listeners—from encouraging relaxation and focus to destressing. Companies are “fundamentally rethinking the future of work in this hybrid environment,” Spatial co-founder and CEO Calin Pacurariu told Fast Company. “And they see sound as a competitive advantage.”

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In November 2021, Cartier brought its immersive audio experience, The Great Animal Orchestra, to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, for its North American debut. The exhibition, which first launched in Paris in 2016, features soundscapes of biodiversity across North America, Latin America, Kenya, Rwanda and Zimbabwe, recorded by soundscape ecologist Bernie Krause. Elle described it as “an exploration of sound: how we digest it, the ways in which animals express it.”

Social media platforms such as Instagram have driven a hyper-focus on visual elements over the past decade. Now, especially as digital platforms mature and engagement evolves, focus is shifting to multisensory elements for a truly immersive experience.

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