USE HEADPHONES (with post-processing effects like CMSS-3D disabled) Showcase of superb audio technology from 1998. What makes Aureal A3D 2.0 so interesting, even today? There are two major features which A3D 2.0 has which the competition in the 90's lacked: HRTF and WaveTracing. HRTF greatly improves positional audio by filtering audio sources similar to how our head does. WaveTracing calculates reverb and occlusion based on geometry in real time similar to raytracing for graphics by sending out rays from audio sources and calculating where these rays bounce off walls and reach the listener again. In contrast, EAX, the competing technology at the time, does not do any real time reverb calculations. Instead developers choose from a variety of reverb preset. The realism of EAX depends on how well the chosen reverb preset and the actual environment match and is not dependent of the position of the player in a given room so e.g. it does not take into account if you have a wall at your side. While HRTF recently made a comeback in 3D audio libraries such as OpenAL Soft even in 2016 there is nothing which comes close to WaveTracing, some techdemos such as GSOUND put aside. Fun fact: Aureal's 3D technology was originally developed for NASA. Aureal's A3D 2.0 Rooms demo running with speaker configuration set to Headphones. system: Windows 98 SE Pentium 4 2.5 Ghz MS-6701 (SiS 648 chipset) 512MB DDR-333 Nvidia FX5200 128Bit/128MB Aureal Vortex 2 Digital PCI: 2041 drivers + 3.12 a3dapi.dll + latency fix S-Video capture, upscaled to 720p for higher audio quality.
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