Audioscenic’s ’˜revolutionary’ audio tech inches closer to market with funding boost

A University of Southampton spin-out developing immersive 3D audio technology for loudspeaker systems has landed £1.5 million after a successful funding round.

Audioscenic successfully wooed investors Foresight Group and Williams Advanced Engineering to gain an injection of £1.05m (€1.16m), to add to a further £0.525m from existing investors IP Group.  

Matthew Burke, head of technology ventures, Williams Advanced Engineering, said: “Audioscenic’s 3D audio loudspeaker technology is truly unique with transformative potential, and we look forward to supporting the commercialisation of this platform technology in applications such as immersive driver simulators.”

Lee Thornton, investment director at IP Group, added: “Having made excellent progress towards commercialising their spatial audio technology since IP Group first invested in 2019, we are delighted to continue supporting the company with additional capital in its latest fundraise and look forward to seeing a first product hitting the shelves in 2021.”

The extra funding puts the company one step closer to its aim to “revolutionise the way users experience sound”. It will pay for more technical and commercial staff to develop and expand its offering, as well as launching the technology with select customers.

Audioscenic was spun out of the Institute of Sound and Vibrational Research (ISVR) at the University of Southampton in 2017. The company’s technology was co-developed by Dr Marcos Simón, chief technology officer, under the supervision of chief scientific officer, Professor Filippo Fazi, a world leading expert in 3D audio theory and algorithms. Dr Simón and Professor Fazi developed a method of monitoring the location of a listener’s head and then beaming separate sound waves to their left and right ears from a single, compact soundbar in an approach they claim creates an immersive 3D audio experience beyond what conventional surround sound speaker systems offer.

It could be a boost to content providers, such as Netflix, Amazon and BT Sport, that are increasingly adopting 3D sound formats. So far headphones have been the preferred consumer hardware to replicate an immersive sound experience with Audioscenic arguing that most 3D loudspeaker systems reach a limited sweet spot. It says its adaptive technology removes the sweet spot and can be applied to consumer electronics, flat panel display systems and automotive applications.

Serial entrepreneur David Monteith joined the company as CEO in 2019.He said: “We have developed world leading 3D audio technology that we have already started applying to consumer applications; this funding will help us build the team further and drive the adoption of our technology faster. We are excited to leverage FWTs expertise and assistance to help us deliver our vision of personal audio reproduction systems into the automotive and simulator markets.”

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