Two Audio Listeners: How to Optimize Your Scene for Audio Listening

AudioListeners and Ambisonics are two important elements in 3D audio design and interactive soundscape within Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR) experiences. This guide will help you optimize your scene for multi-audio listening and provide step-by-step instructions on how to do so.

Audiolisteners are responsible for positioning sound sources in your scene for the listener to be able to hear them in 3D space. Not surprisingly, having multiple AudioListeners enables your scene to be heard in two or more audio directions.

Ambisonic technology is a way of capturing and reproducing audio in three-dimensional space in which the sound can be heard from any direction. It uses many channels of sound from multiple small microphones to simulate natural sound fields.

Step-by-Step Guide

Below you will find the step-by-step guide for configuring multi-audio listening to your scene.

  1. Start by adding two AudioListeners to your scene. AudioListener 1 should represent the main audio direction, while AudioListener 2 should be placed in the secondary, opposite direction.
  2. Place the two AudioListeners where you prefer in the scene. They should be placed close enough to the source of the audio in order to accurately hear the sound in the correct direction.
  3. Use the AudioListener Settings window in the inspector to determine the key values of each AudioListener such as Volume and Occlusion.
  4. Enable Ambisonic files in the AudioSource component. This will allow your scene to be heard in 3D space from any direction by the AudioListeners.
  5. Add code from Unity’s Audio Mixers Documentation to your script and attach the the Ambisonic file to your script variable.
  6. Finally, in the AudioMixerGroup Parameters, assign a value to the AudioListeners controlling their Volume and Occlusion.


Q: What is the difference between an AudioListener and an Ambisonic?

A: AudioListeners are responsible for positioning sound sources in your scene, while Ambisonics is a way of capturing and reproducing sound in 3D space. By combining the two, you can create an interactive soundscape within VR/AR experiences.

Q: Are there any special considerations when adding code to my scene?

A: Yes, special considerations apply when adding code to your scene to ensure AudioListeners, Ambisonic files, and AudioMixerGroups are functioning properly. We recommend consulting Unity’s Audio Mixers Documentation for the latest code pieces.

Q: Is multi-audio listening necessary for VR/AR experiences?

A: While multi-audio listening is not necessary for all experiences, it is often used to create a more immersive experience. Having multiple AudioListeners enables your scene to be heard in two or more audio directions, while Ambisonic technology allows you to accurately capture and reproduce audio from any direction.

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