May 9 2023  |  Inflight Entertainment

​Panasonic Avionics and HEAR360 Inc bring Spatial Audio to IFE

By Stephanie Philp

This is the first time Spatial Audio will be offered to passengers for IFE

Panasonic Avionics Corporation (Panasonic Avionics) and HEAR360 Inc., a leader in advanced audio solutions, recently announced an agreement to bring Spatial Audio – a 3D theatrical surround sound experience – to airline passengers. This is the first time Spatial Audio will be offered to passengers for IFE.

On May 3, a press release stated that “all in-flight entertainment (IFE) content, whether live or on-demand, including movies, music, live television, sporting events, and games, will [now] be presented in 3D Spatial Audio in real time using HEAR360’s proprietary audio technology, and can be delivered seamlessly over any wired or Bluetooth wireless headphones or earbuds.”

Spatial Audio will be available initially as a standard feature with Panasonic Avionics’ Panasonic’s Astrova IFE solution. Airlines will experience no price increase when using Spatial Audio as “no special media encoding or file types are required” and the “airlines will not need to change their media procurement processes or deliverables.”

Andy Masson, Vice President, Product Management of Panasonic Avionics, said in the May 3 release: “Spatial Audio provides passengers with a comparable experience to a home theatre system they would enjoy on the ground while enabling airlines to offer premium audio and remain efficient with their media spending.”

“The launch of Spatial Audio represents the latest evolution in the industry-leading sound solutions Panasonic Avionics offers and follows our previous milestones including the introduction of HD Audio in 2015, and full cabin Bluetooth Audio in 2021.”

In the same release, Matt Marrin, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of HEAR360, said: “We are thrilled to partner with Panasonic Avionics to give all passengers an unparalleled immersive and engaging inflight experience using our revolutionary audio technology. Being content and device agnostic not only means we democratize best-in-class audio for everyone to enjoy," but it also "provides Panasonic Avionics and its airline customers with immediate scalability in a cost-effective manner.”

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