AMBEO VR Mic
|AMBEO VR Mic|
|Power||4 x phantom powering (P48) as per IEC 61938 (48 ± 4 V), 3.5 mA each|
|Size||215 x 49/25 mm (L x D)|
AMBEO VR Microphone is a 3-dimensional audio recording device developed by the German Company Sennheiser. The virtual reality microphone is designed to provide a convincing recording of the 360-degree sound space. Sennheiser introduced AMBEO VR Mic to the world at CES 2017 in Las Vegas. The makers have fixed the price of an AMBEO VR Mic at $1700.
Recording Audio for Virtual Reality
The AMBEO VR Mic is Sennheiser’s gift to virtual reality content creators. The microphone was created by the German company in collaboration with virtual reality producers. The microphone doesn’t just record the audio, it captures the whole surrounding – the experience, sound, and direction.
Traditional microphones capture only the audio. The resultant product lacks authenticity and immersiveness. The listener won’t feel he/she is in the midst of an actual event.
In real life, the left and right ears perceive sound differently. To create truly immersive audio, the microphone needs to replicate this property of the ears. The traditional microphones can never capture sound as our ears do. Sennheiser seems to have found a way to capture the audio that’s emanating from different directions from a single point.
The AMBEO VR Mic uses four KE 14 capsules placed in a tetrahedral structure. The special structure and Ambisonics technique used records the audio that flawlessly matches the corresponding virtual reality video content.
Ambisonics is the best suited audio technology used for virtual reality, 3D sound, and interactive audio applications. Apart from the horizontal plane, the Ambisonics technology captures audio from above and below from a single point (for example, a listener). In the case of ambisonics, speaker signals are not carried through the transmission channels. Here, the sound is in the B-format, which is independent of the speaker. This format is then later interpreted to the speaker setup. This variation or divergence helps the Ambisonics technology improve the richness of sound.
How the AMBEO VR Mic Works?
The tetrahedral structure made up of four capsules captures and delivers the sound in A-format, which is a raw 4-channel output. Listeners can’t use the audio as such. The A-format needs to be changed to Ambisonics B-format, which is another 4-channel format. In AMBEO the conversion is performed by the A-B format converter plug-in. The plug-in can be downloaded in AAX, AU, and VST and used in a Mac DAW or Windows PC.
Here is how the B-format works? The B-format technique takes a 4-way image of the audio field around the microphone. The image comprises of W, X, Y, and Z; here X, Y, and Z represent the microphone pattern that corresponds to front/back, left/right, and up/down. The W, on the other hands, is the combination of all four capsules. This way, sound from any direction of the microphone can be exactly captured and reproduced for the benefit of a listener.
The Key Features of the AMBEO VR Mic
Captures sound from all directions from a single point for VR content Four KE 14 capsules placed in tetrahedral structure Records spherical, fully spatial sound in Ambisonics B-format Best suited for virtual reality, 3D, and interactive audio capture Highly portable and sturdy – well suited to meet the challenges of various recording environments
Software and Plug-ins
Post-production A-B format converter plug-in Four A-B format encoders included Available as AAX, AU, and VST plug-in for Mac DAW or PC Can be used as a standalone operator Microphone’s direction can be rotated and its physical position corrected using the plug-in Different output standard can be achieved using the included plug-in
|Dimensions (L x D)||215 x 49/25 mm|
|Transducer Principle||Pre-polarized condenser mic|
|Pickup Pattern||4 cardioids arranged in A format|
FLU – Front-Left Up
FRD – Front-Right Down
BLD – Back-Left Down
BRU – Back-Right Up
|Mixing to B-Format||W, X, Y, and Z|
W – FLU + FRD + BLD + BRU
X – FLU + FRD - BLD – BRU
Y – FLU - FRD + BLD – BRU
Z – FLU - FRD - BLD + BRU
|Frequency Response||20Hz to 20kHz|
|Matrix Reference||Center of the capsule holder|
|Sensitivity||31 mV/Pa (-30 dBV)|
|Nominal Impedance||200 ohms (approx.)|
|Min. Terminating Impedance||1000 ohms|
|Equivalent Noise Level||18 dB-A as per IEC 61672-1 |
27 dB CCIR as per CCIR 468-3
|Maximum Sound Pressure Level||130 dB(A) for 1kHz|
|Power Supply||4 x phantom powering (P48) as per IEC 61938 (48 ± 4 V), 3.5 mA each|
|Mic Connector||DIN12M (use enclosed adapter cable to convert to 4x XLR3M)|
|Polarity||Pin1 (GND), Pin2 (+), Pin3 (-)|
|Operating Temperature||-10 to 55-degree Celsius |
14 to 131-degree Fahrenheit
|Storage Temperature||-20 to 70-degree Celsius |
-4 to 158-degree Fahrenheit
|Relative Humidity||Max 90% at 104-degree Fahrenheit / 40-degree Celsius|
Inside the Box
The AMBEO VR Mic package weighs around 2.5lbs and it includes the AMBEO VR Microphone, 4 x XLRs 3-pins balanced split cable, 1.5m extension cable, Rycote’s suspension mount, A-B format encoder (AAX plug-ins are available only for Mac OS X, VST plug-ins are available for Windows PC and Mac OS X), and a foam windshield.
Sennheiser is one of the leading producers of microphones, headphones, and wireless transmission applications in the world. Based in Wedemark, Germany, the audio specialist has manufacturing hubs in the US and Ireland. Established in 1945, this family-run business now employs 2700 people and operates in over 50 countries. Sennheiser’s 19 subsidiaries and trading partners specialize in selling highly innovative and futuristic audio solutions that are specially made to suit the customer’s requirements. According to the turnover data released in 2015, the company generated 682 million Euros as revenue.