updated 07:35 pm EST, Tue January 3, 2006
MP3 surround sound support
iPod users everywhere may soon enjoy theater-like surround sound from simple stereo headphones, following today's announcement of the . Utilizing MP3 SX (MP3 Stereo eXtended) technology that allows enhancing MP3 stereo files for multi-channel playback, "MP3 Surround" presents the feeling of envelopment by using the ambience sounds already present in the stereo source. The new format enables high-quality surround sound at bit rates comparable to those currently used to encode stereo MP3 material, and is backwards compatible to stereo MP3; a legacy MP3 device plays back MP3 Surround as high quality stereo.
Traditionally, surround sound has been primarily limited to loudspeaker setups in living rooms or theaters. With the Ensonido technology, the individual listening experience through portable MP3 Surround players and stereo headphones is enhanced. The company said that it uses an acoustic model to simulate the natural transmission of multi-channel sound from the loudspeakers to the human ear.