SRS Labs Wants to Enhance Phone Audio With WideSurround

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SRS Labs announced its plans to bring surround-sound-quality audio to the world of smartphones, by means of its SRS WideSurround technology.

The first device taking advantage of the SRS algorithms is Samsung’s Continuum Galaxy S phone, new to Verizon. SRS will likely license the technology to other smartphone manufacturers, though it hasn’t yet revealed a list of partners.

The digital signal processing done as part of WideSurround subtly modifies the standard stereo going to a smartphone’s speakers and introduces slight delays in parts of the signal. When your brain interprets what it hears, it’s supposed to sound like the audio’s coming out of speakers farther apart than the phone’s dimensions would otherwise allow. This increased perception of signal separation hopefully produces a listening experience that sounds richer than you’d otherwise think a smartphone’s tiny speakers could pull off.

This technology isn’t exactly new, the basis of which has been used for decades in systems like Q Sound. Of course, as processors get more powerful, more advanced signal shaping can be done in real time, hopefully leading to a more natural-sounding effect. If you’ve had the chance to listen to a Continuum using SRS WideSurround, let us know what you thought. Does it impress, or just sound kind of echoy?

Source: SRS Labs

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About The Author
Stephen Schenck
Stephen has been writing about electronics since 2008, which only serves to frustrate him that he waited so long to combine his love of gadgets and his degree in writing. In his spare time, he collects console and arcade game hardware, is a motorcycle enthusiast, and enjoys trapping blue crabs. Stephen's first mobile device was a 624 MHz Dell Axim X30, which he's convinced is still a viable platform. Stephen longs for a market where phones are sold independently of service, and bandwidth is cheap and plentiful; he's not holding his breath. In the meantime, he devours smartphone news and tries to sort out the juicy bitsRead more about Stephen Schenck!