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Digital Surround Sound Creates 3D Theatre Zone

Clear Day SLAB DSP Limited Announces the Release of Virtuoso™ A Surround Sound Technology for Headphones and Headsets

Auckland, New Zealand (June 28, 2001) – Slab DSP Limited announced today the release of a new digital surround sound technology for use with stereo headsets and headphones. The Virtuoso™ system transforms standard stereo audio into a virtual surround sound experience by repositioning the headphone wearer within a digitally mastered 3-dimensional “theatre zone”.

Standard stereo audio when reproduced through headphones and headsets creates an audio image that is located centrally within the listener’s head. This image lacks the sophistication necessary to create the perception that the listener is in fact part of the sound as and when recorded.

In Virtuoso™ Slab DSP has created an effective, inexpensive end-to-end solution that will revolutionise the audio experience for the wearers of headphones and headsets. By using state-of-the-art digital signal processing techniques a number of virtual audio sources are created within the ‘theatre zone’. The sounds from these sources are passed through an advanced reverberation algorithm developed by Industrial Research Limited (IRL) and licensed to Slab DSP for this specific application.

Although the virtual room concept is not new, and has been implemented on the PC for various MP3 players, Virtuoso™ is superior as unlike many alternatives it does not corrupt nor distort the programme audio during its regeneration in the virtual space.

A variety of embodiments of this technology are possible as the digital electronic circuitry required for its effective implementation is of low cost and requires minimal space on a printed circuit board. The Virtuoso™ system maybe installed on portable audio devices such as CD, MP3 and DAT players, on laptop PC’s, or as part of any powered headset or headphone device.

Slab DSP will be launching a number of its own digital noise cancellation systems incorporating Virtuoso™ at this year’s WAEA (World-Airline-Entertainment-Association) show in Brisbane, Australia.

John Corey, Managing Director, said “Slab DSP is constantly developing audio technologies that break the mold and set a new benchmark. We are excited about the possibilities presented by this solution, and we are committed to exploring its full potential across a number of markets.

"Once again Slab DSP has created an audio technology that outperforms its competitors and provides real benefits for the consumer. We look forward to marketing this technology internationally in the coming months. ”

The Virtuoso™ surround sound system maybe licensed from Slab DSP for use in general consumer electronics. The Virtuoso™ algorithms are available from Slab DSP as source code or on silicon. License information maybe obtained from Slab DSP by request.

About Slab DSP:

Slab DSP Limited is a leading developer of high technology analogue and digital signal processing technologies for audio enhancement and noise reduction.

Slab DSP has a substantial portfolio of world-leading technologies for the suppression of noise on aircraft using both headsets and flat panel speaker systems.

Slab DSP is part Slab International Limited which has headquarters in Auckland, New Zealand. Other members of this group include Slab Sound and Slab Asia.

Slab’s research and development interests include patented flat panel speaker systems, advanced audio transducer technologies, patented noise cancellation algorithms and software solutions for controlling the audio environment.

(For more about Slab DSP, visit www.slabdsp.com.)


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