Ever heard a song that made you feel like you were in a different dimension? Chances are it was an 8D audio track. Today, we’re going to unravel what 8D audio is, how it works, and why it’s so damn cool. And finally, is 8D audio really dangerous?
What is 8D audio?
If you spend a lot of time on YouTube, you might have stumbled across videos with titles including ‘8D audio’. Or perhaps you haven’t (yet). Either way, listening to it is a pretty cool experience, and the next time you see the magic words, you may want to click on it.
You’ve probably heard of 3D, heck even 4D – but 8D? Is there actually such a thing as audio possessing eight dimensions? No, there isn’t. In fact, audio doesn’t really have dimensions at all. 8D audio is essentially a binaural effect (listening to two tones of slightly different frequency, one in each ear) added to a stereo track, tricking our brains into thinking the sound comes from different corners of the room.
Some say it gives you the impression of listening to live music. Some even suggest it makes you listen to the music “with your brain” as opposed to your ears. Speaking of which, headphones are a must if you want to try out this supersonic experience – without them, you won’t get the 360 illusion.
How does 8D audio work?
‘8D audio’ is created by combining equalization techniques, panning, and effects. Equalization is the process of changing the balance of different frequencies in audio. Panning, in short, is the technique of distributing the sound on various audio channels. These components combined gives the listener a feeling of having the music playing from within their head.
Now, on that note, let’s once and for all debunk the rumour suggesting this effect might be harmful to listen to. Just like any sound, listening to it too loudly could cause damage like tinnitus in the long run, yes. But as long as you keep it at around 85dB, you should be fine. In short, listening to 8D audio at a reasonable level is not dangerous.
The health effects of binaural beats
Binaural beats – hence, when you hear tones in each ear with slightly different frequencies – is essentially the same thing as 8D audio. And what’s interesting about it is that it’s proven to have positive effects on your health. Binaural beats are claimed to activate the same mental state associated with meditation, but much quicker.
For the brain to detect the binaural beat and react to it, the frequencies should be lower than 1000 hertz. For example, if the left ear registers a 200-hertz tone while the right ear registers one at 210 hertz, the binaural beat is 10 hertz. Pretty straightforward, right?
Advocates of binaural therapy usually recommend it for treating anxiety, stress, and other related disorders. So if you’re feeling stressed, why not give it a go? In the meantime, check out these relaxing ASMR tracks, these 5.1 surround sound effects or other high-quality royalty free music at Epidemic Sound for a similar effect.
Is all of this really a new thing, you might ask? And the answer is no, this ‘8D’ effect has been around since the 70s. But even though it’s no new technique, it’s a pretty cool experience. So if you haven’t already, check out the video below where Epidemic Sound artist Ooyy’s song has been transformed into an 8D track. Just relax, and let this mesmerizing technique blow you away for a couple of minutes.
Source: Elsa Anderling