Sennheiser Adds a New Dimension to Horror With "FINAL STOP"
I had never heard of 3D audio, but I love scaring myself silly, so when an invitation to go see what the sonic magicians over at Sennheiser have been cooking up— a "3D audio thriller" that "has to be heard to be believed"—I was more than game. Directed by Roxanne Benjamin in collaboration with Sennheiser and their new Ambeo Smart Headset, Final Stop is a thriller that relies on 3D binaural sound to generate its jumps.
The headset finds its home among the horror genre, which has always been reliant on the effects of sound on the psyche. In the short film we follow Phoebe Tonkin’s character on her way home from the city on a night bus. She notices a hooded figure following her, and in typical Hitchcockian fashion there’s a build of suspense that is made all the more terrifying by the 3D audio. The film was shot on just an iPhone with most of the audio recorded on the Ambeo Smart Headset. First showcased at CES 2017, the headset captures immersive 360 “3D” audio with the simplicity of your IOS device.
Watching the film feels multi-sensory. For those who have wondered what synesthesia feels like, this is probably the closest reality. A bus moves across screen and you can feel the vibration in your ears. The hooded figure walks behind the protagonist and you can’t help but turn around because it feels so real.
After the screening, we were given our own Ambeo Smart Headsets and lead to an interactive walk-through modeled after the film where we were encouraged to create our own audio experience with the camera app on our phones. With the headset's "transparency" function in ear, which amplifies sound directly around you, phone rings and jumpscares were that much more striking. We left with a recording that when played back in stereo creates a 3D experience not unlike the film itself.
This collaboration showcases the immersive quality and capability of the Ambeo Smart Headset. Sennheiser hopes the collaboration marks a shift in the way that content creators approach making said content in a higher quality with less equipment.
Final Stop launches on Youtube on August 19th—headphones recommended.