What Is 16D Audio?

By Richard Pryn •  Updated: 04/27/22 •  6 min read

When it comes to audio and sound, there are actually lots of different types that a lot of everyday people fail to recognize or understand. However, to the keen ear, the difference between each type is clear – but what makes 16D audio so special?

Speaking about 16D audio, what is it anyway? 

What Is 16D Audio

If you want to learn more about the different types of audio and where 16D audio fits onto the spectrum, then this is the place for you.

We are going to be diving into all the details of 16D audio so you can understand everything there is to know about this audio type. 

What Is D Audio?

Before we go into 16D audio, it’s important that you understand what D audios are altogether. 

Most audio we listen to are known as mono or stereo audio formats. This means that the audio only has one or two channels to move through. Mono audio only travels through one single channel so we hear everything coming out of one source.

Stereo sound splits the audio into two channels and parts of the audio can be localized to the left or right.

This is how sometimes when listening to music through headphones or earphones, you can hear one part of the vocals in one ear, and another part in the other – but both play at the same time. 

However, the sound all still sounds very flat and 2D.

D audios are audios that have been altered to emulate movement from one speaker to another.

This gives the illusion that the audio is moving, making it feel more alive than flat mono or stereo audio, completely changing the experience of listening to the same audio. 

D audios first started out with just one – the 3D audio – but now feature a lot of different types. The amount of D audios all differ when it comes to sound variation.

Some are designed to feel more alive than others and alter in tone, frequency and volume in different speakers. 

 What Is 16D Audio?

16D audio is one of the many types of D audio. It is designed to use lots of different effects to make the listener feel like the audio is coming from lots of different directions. 

While other types of D audio do the same effect, 16D uses more directions, more effects and overall gives the impression that the audio is being played live like in a concert hall.

This type of D audio involves a spin on a technique called binaural panning. This is when two tracks are panned from one direction to the next with the additional effect of added reverb.

However, 16D audio takes it one step further and pans multiple tracks including vocals, backing music and beats. 

Everything is panned and riverbed separately which makes 16D audio feel a lot more alive and real than other types of D audio. 

What Is 16D Audio (1)

16D Audio Vs Other Types of D Audio

16D audio is said to be the most ‘alive’ and ‘realistic’ type of D audio because of how each track is altered independently and set apart using its own reverb and pan.

However, 16D is the accumulation of many years of audio altering and editing which have come all the way from flat 2D audio. 

The first form of D audio was 3D audio which just shifted the audio completely from one speaker to the next. It was named 3D audio because this effect made it feel more alive and ‘three dimensional’ than regular music.

It has been around for decades – just look at Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody for an early example of this effect. 

However, over time, D audio has developed into a whole spectrum.

From 3D audio came 8D audio. However, the D in 8D audio does not stand for ‘dimensional’ like it does with 3D audio – it stands for ‘directional’ instead.

This is because the illusion of 8D audio is made to make the audio feel more like live music and comes from multiple different directions simultaneously. 

8D audio was the first to use binaural effects and change the frequencies in each speaker to make echoes in the audio. From there, 9D audio was born but with more reverb.

Then finally, 16D audio was created with extended effects and the ability to use lots of individual audio tracks with different binaural effects, reverberations, reflections and panning. 

Overall, there are a lot of similarities between each type of D audio. Each one aims to use audio illusions to make it feel like the audio is coming from lots of different directions and that it is moving from one speaker to the next.

Ever since 8D audio, they have all used the binaural effect to achieve this – but each development since then has been more and more in depth with its attention to its effects. 

The result is 16D audio – which takes more aspects of a single piece of audio and treats each track (the piano, the vocals, the beat, etc.) and uses its effects individually. 

 Is 16D Audio The Best Kind Of Audio?

Not necessarily – it just means that it has more directions and effects in use than other types of D audio. However, this does not make it better or superior to other types of audio. 

What audio is best all depends on the situation and personal preference. A lot of people like to listen to 16D audio because it sounds like a live concert, plus many marketers opt for this style of audio for their adverts for a more realistic vibe. 

However, other people prefer the more conventional sound of mono or stereo audio instead. 

 Conclusion

16D audio is said to be the most ‘alive’ and ‘realistic’ type of D audio because of how each track is altered independently and set apart using its own reverb and pan.

However, 16D is the accumulation of many years of audio altering and editing which have come all the way from flat 2D audio. 

16D audio is a very popular kind of audio for marketing purposes. It can create a sense of realism and life-like quality to your content. If you want to give your audience a real experience when listening to your content, try out 16D audio when editing! 

Richard Pryn

Hey there. I am an award winning composer for movie trailers, including Bladerunner 2049, Diablo II, WandaVision, and loads more. I am the founder of The Trailer Music School where my aim is to teach everything I know about music composition, production, and generally being a functional human being. I podcast, blog, vlog and jog (sometimes). I also love coffee, nachos and self-improvement. I live with my wife, three kids and numerous pets. I am also known by my pseudonym, Richard Schrieber (it’s a long story).

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