At CEATEC 2023, I tested JVCKENWOOD’s EXOFIELD “Boléro” demo. I’ll explain EXOFIELD in more detail below, but at a high level, it’s an accurate spatial sound rendering technology.
The Bolero demo consists of visualizing a virtual concert and enjoying the spatial audio quality. The virtual concert consisted of volumetric scans of 16 members of the New Japan Philharmonic. All members were placed to surround the listener in the demo. The scans were very detailed, and you could see people’s expressions.
As one or several musicians play Bolero, you can precisely pinpoint where they are. Upon getting closer to them, the sound was properly rendered, and it felt very accurate. I wish we could walk around with the headphones, but the tradeshow floor space was a bit tight. However, if you move your head towards a sound source, you can already feel a difference.
To view the virtual scene, JVCKENWOOD had Canon MREAL X1 Display with a handles accessory, allowing a quicker setup than a normal over-the-head apparatus. They could have shown a movie, but using 3D graphics made things much more interactive and unique to everyone who tried.
EXOFIELD is a technology focused on out-of-head localization sound field processing, aiming for precise spatial sound rendering. This type of sound field processing is commonly utilized in Virtual Reality and gaming applications, where the positional accuracy of sound is crucial, going beyond a general sense of “spatial perception.”
In contrast, basic spatial perception typically employs in-head localization and is prevalent in most devices due to its lower requirements for computational power and hardware. The two technologies should not be confused.
Typically, people would use EXOFIELD for home entertainment purposes, which I think is the primary and most obvious use case. That’s particularly true if you live in an apartment where it is challenging to enjoy powerful surround sound speakers without your neighbors complaining.
Developed by JVC, EXOFIELD incorporates advanced sound technologies often found in high-end home theater systems and premium consumer electronics. For optimal audio performance, EXOFIELD requires a straightforward, one-time setup that customizes settings for individual users.
JVC EXOFIELD is a well-known technology for audio enthusiasts, and this demo is a great way to let attendees experience the sound it produces. That’s really the only way to fully experience the best audio technologies because it’s tough to describe and quantify, especially since this is customized to each user via the initial setup.