Spatially separated sound is what every person perceives, when not wearing a headset - so we should call it "natural sound". We actually do detect the direction of a natural sound and use the direction when relevant. Natural sound can be reproduced through a stereo headset when processing is applied to the sound.
The Terma solution is the only available end-to-end solution, which optimizes every aspect of spatial separation, and therefore provides the best performance available.
3D-Audio is the Natural Sound
3D-Audio perception is a "baseline capability" of any human being (with a hearing ability). A 3D-Audio system basically recreates the "natural sound" (which by definition is 3D) in a standard stereo headset, so putting on the headset will in a matter of seconds enable the listener to perceive and understand it. The capability is utilized in two different ways with the Terma system. Radio separation simply positions each radio at a distinct direction, while 3D-Audio cueing in addtion delivers directional information in the most direct and intuitive way.
3D-Audio Contains Embedded Directional Information
In addition to the "Radio Separation", an important advantage is the ability to present directions to the user by means of 3D-Audio. Since this is natural audio, one knows the feeling of hearing e.g. a door slam behind and instinctively and immediately knowing the position. If this was heard in a mono headset, one would not have a clue where the door was. So, to provide the same level of information in a mono headset, one would need to add a statement like "behind you" and such a statement takes time to speak and to understand. It should be obvious that hearing the actual door slamming is a lot faster to understand. So in the analogous situation, when a missile is launched, the response must appear within seconds, and the Terma audio system generates those extra seconds needed.
Identify and Focus on the most Important
In mono, the listener perceives each and every audio source as being played in the center of one's head. Multiple simultaneous sources are hard to separate. With 3D-Audio, each audio source is perceived as coming from a distinct direction (as in "real life"), and it is easier to separate them, choose which one to listen to/focus on, and simultaneously the direction could be used to indicate other properties of the audio (e.g. RADIO1 from one o’clock, RADIO2 from eleven o’clock, etc.).
Increased Number of Sources without loss of Integrity
With traditional mono, no more than 2 simultaneous audio cues/messages/tones can be understood by the listener (depending on the types of audio - i.e. voice/tone/alert). With 3D-Audio, more sources can be handled by the listener. Not in the sense that one can understand everything from each of the sources, but one can pick which sources to listen to and suppress the others.
In order to reduce the pilot work load and situational awareness (SA), Terma is the first company in the world to have a 3D-Audio technology available and fielded to support these key enhancements. Initial studies on the utilization of the technology in a cockpit environment showed in a comparison test that the pilot would perceive the direction of an approaching missile threat 1.5 sec faster by using 3D-Audio cuing as compared to presenting the threat in a cockpit panel mounted display.
Obstruction warning and cueing head-up identification
Uses natural human capability of localizing sound sources in three-dimensional space
Instant attention on the threat, no need to understand voice message or interpreting the symbol on a 2D-display.