8ball Is A VR Microphone For Seamless Spatial Audio Integration

by Jamie Feltham • February 21st, 2018

We all know that convincing audio is just as important to VR immersion as sight, but the solutions for creating this kind of feedback in 360 degree videos are limited. 8ball aims to fix that.

Developed by Hear360 over the course of the past few years and on sale from today, 8ball is a VR microphone designed specifically to capture realistic audio alongside your 360 degree video capture and then seamlessly fuse the recording with the footage during your workflow. The kit has already been sent out to studios across the world for beta testing and has been used to capture sporting events, concerts and more.

8ball is a spherical device that can be mounted to 360 rigs. It consists of four capsules, each fitted with custom microphones that are positioned to mimic a human’s perception of sound, capturing omni-binaural audio. A series of plug-ins and software then fuse the recorded audio with the footage you shoot to create a realistic soundscape without having to handle multiple audio channels.

That means you should be getting sound that properly relays distance and direction depending on where you’re looking in a 360 degree experience. Without this, these experiences can be hard to feel truly immersed in.

The kit starts at a hefty $2,500, so it’s strictly for professionals only. It also comes with a year’s trial to Hear 360’s Spatial Audio Pro Tools. You can also order a Zoom F8 Field Recorder, Protective Case and MPD 12 dB inline attenuators directly from Hear360.

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