Waves Nx is the first application to bring personalized 3D sound to any pair of headphones.
About this project
With Waves Nx, music, movies and games can be heard in a revolutionary way, as they take on a new dimension of immersive 3D reality. And it all happens inside the headphones you already own.
Immersive 3D Audio on Any Headphones
Waves Nx is an application that you install on your desktop computer or mobile device. Once the application is installed, Nx recreates – on any set of headphones – the same three-dimensional experience as listening to sound in the real world.
Waves Nx personalizes the 3D audio experience to your physical movement in space by tracking your head movements wherever you go. Nx does this using either your computer’s camera or the Nx Head Tracker, a compact Bluetooth device that latches on to your headphones and follows your head movements in all directions.
True Surround Sound on Any Stereo Headphones
With Waves Nx, you can hear true 5.1 and 7.1 surround on your regular stereo headphones. Your ordinary headphones become a surround sound system, even if the movie you’re watching or the game you’re playing were not originally mixed for surround.
The perception of spatial three-dimensional sound in the real world is a rich and complex phenomenon. It combines the interactions between the acoustic soundwaves and the room or space we’re in; the interaction of the soundwaves with our head and ears; and finally the way our brain interprets these acoustic interactions.
The perception of sound over regular stereo headphones is a completely different – and much more limited – experience. Here are a few crucial differences:
“Crosstalk” between Your Left and Right Ears
When you listen on headphones, left and right are completely separated. Whatever comes out of the left side of your headphones, you hear only through your left ear. Whatever comes out of the right side, you hear only through your right ear.
But that’s not the way you hear sound in the real world. In the real world, you hear everything through both ears – with a little time delay between them. This helps your brain construct a three-dimensional acoustic image of the space around you.
In the real world, the direct sound coming from the audio source is not the only thing you hear. You hear both the direct sound and the ambient sound reflected from the walls and the other physical objects around you. Your brain uses information about the different volume levels, times of arrival, and directions of these reflected soundwaves in order to construct a three-dimensional acoustic image of the space you’re in.
On headphones, none of this happens. You only hear the direct sound sent straight into your ear, and there is no indication of how it interacts with the three-dimensional environment around you.
Why Head Movement Matters
In the real world, even the slightest nudge to your head causes the complete audio scene to change, because the external world is not moving with your head. Your brain, being sensitive to change, remembers where the sound used to be and where it is now, combines this with its knowledge that your head (and not the source) has moved, and uses all this info to locate the source of the sound in your three-dimensional environment.
When we listen on headphones, the audio scene constantly moves with the head, again causing the experience of sound to be less realistic, less immersive, less three-dimensional.
So what difference does all that make to your listening experience?
When you hear sounds in the real world, you hear a full, rich, realistic sound environment. Thanks to the “crosstalk” effect between your left and right ears, the ambient reflections, and the adjustment to your physical movement through space, what you hear is a full landscape of sound, a full 3D soundscape.
But when you’re listening on headphones, all that feeling of real space is gone. When everything is separated hard left and right, without ambient reflections, and without adjustment to your own movement through space, what you’re left with is flat sound where all the audio elements are crammed together inside your head.
Waves Nx delivers 3D sound by recreating on your headphones the same audio cues you hear in the real world: the same left-right crosstalk, the same ambient reflections, the same responsiveness to your own physical movements.
The video below contains further information about how Nx works.
Join the 3D Audio Revolution
You’ll be the first to know when Nx is released and will receive updates about its progress, both during the campaign (as you will for all rewards), and afterward as we move toward further development for virtual reality and augmented reality devices. You’ll also receive a personal email with our sincere love and gratitude!
$1 – KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE
Nx T-shirt + Nx Hat
Show everyone you’re on the cutting edge of audio technology with an Nx t-shirt and hat.
$25 – KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE
Nx Head Tracker + Nx Application
Everything you need to enjoy high quality 3D audio on your computer or mobile device – using your own set of headphones. Includes the Bluetooth Nx Head Tracker and the Nx software application (Nx Virtual Mix Room for audio engineers sold separately).
$59 – SUPER EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Save $40 (Retail $99) – Limited to 500
$69 – EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Save $30 (Retail $99) – Limited to 2000
$79 – KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE – Save $20 (Retail $99)
Nx Head Tracker + Nx Application + Nx T-shirt + Nx Hat
Everything you need to enjoy high-quality 3D audio on your computer or mobile device – using your own set of headphones (includes the Bluetooth Nx Head Tracker and the Nx software application) AND show everyone you’re on the cutting edge of audio technology with an Nx T-shirt and hat.
$79 – SUPER EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Save $45 (Retail $124) – Limited to 500
$89 – EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Save $35 (Retail $124) – Limited to 2000
$99 – KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE – Save $25 (Retail $124)
Nx Head Tracker + Nx Virtual Mix Room
Designed for audio professionals, the Nx Virtual Mix Room plugin recreates the ideal acoustics of a high-end mix room inside your headphones. (More information about this can be found further down.) Use it with the Bluetooth Nx Head Tracker for enhanced spatial realism. (Nx application for computers and mobile devices sold separately.)
$99 – KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE – Save $99 (Retail $198)
Nx Head Tracker + Nx Application + Direct Sound Ex-29 Headphones
Get the Bluetooth Nx Head Tracker and the Nx application together with Direct Sound Ex-29 headphones for a high-end audiophile experience.
$149 – EARLY BIRD SPECIAL – Save $89 (Retail $238) – Limited to 200
$179 – KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE – Save $59 (Retail $238)
Nx Head Tracker + Nx Application + Audeze Sine Headphones
Get the Bluetooth Nx Head Tracker and the Nx application together with Audeze Sine headphones for a superb audiophile experience.
$499 – KICKSTARTER EXCLUSIVE – Save $99 (Retail $598)
Waves Audio is a world-leading developer of digital audio solutions for professionals in recording and mixing studios, live sound and more. We invite you to watch this short video to understand the role Waves has played in the development of today’s audio industry.
Since January 2016, Nx technology has been available for audio professionals (primarily mixing and recording engineers) in the form of the Nx Virtual Mix Room. Based on the same Nx concepts described earlier, the Nx Virtual Mix Room is an audio plugin that enables sound engineers to use headphones and hear their recordings and mixes with real-world dimension, just as they would in the sweet spot of a great-sounding professional studio. By recreating on headphones the spatial acoustics of a high-end physical studio, Nx Virtual Mix Room bridges the gap between monitoring on speakers and monitoring on headphones, which is critical for any sound engineer who doesn’t have access to a fully professional mix room, or needs to mix their music on the road away from the studio.
Here is a sampling of what professional audio experts and sound engineers working in the music industry had to say about Nx Virtual Mix Room:
Help turn Nx from professional software that only sound engineers can use to an application that everyone can use.
The 3D audio revolution is already upon us and we want to partner with you to allow anyone with a pair of headphones to enjoy the magic of 3D audio. The Nx Head Tracker is in its final stage of production and will ship in September 2016 along with the Nx application for computers and mobile devices.
Your pledges will allow us to expand our development and help turn Nx from professional software that only sound engineers can use to an application that everyone can use with every device, every operating system and every set of headphones. Funds raised through Kickstarter will be used to integrate Nx into virtual reality and augmented reality devices that are going to heighten our senses and change the way we hear the world, the way we feel the world, and ultimately, how we experience the world.
We invite you to join the 3D audio revolution and help us reach our goal of making the world a better place to listen to.
Risks and challenges
Although every project must be prepared to encounter unforeseen obstacles, we feel fortunate to be able to say that there are minimal risks and challenges inherent with the release of Waves Nx. We have a successful history of manufacturing both software and hardware and know the process deeply from start to finish. As we are in the final stages of development, we are confident that you will receive your product on time and at full capacity.