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Immersive audio experiences with OZO Audio and OZO Playback

Immersive audio experiences with OZO Audio and OZO Playback

There are mobile devices on the market to cover every consumer need available. Sometimes what is desired is an all-singing, all-dancing device that covers every use case that can be fitted into a single device. Other times, the manufacturer prefers to channel the hardware into providing the best possible experience for a certain demographic. It’s important to remember that fewer features doesn’t necessarily mean less quality. Nokia’s OZO Audio and Playback technology brings a first-class spatial audio experience to mobile devices – and the good news is that many of the groundbreaking features can be enjoyed in two-microphone audio devices aimed at a broad audience.

Mobile devices currently are available on the market with anything ranging from one to four microphones built into the handsets. While some premium models have three or four microphones, the majority of mobile devices use two microphones, positioned at either end of the device. Having three or more microphones does indeed open your device up to enjoy the full repertoire of features that Nokia OZO can offer in terms of audio and playback. But for many use cases, two mics are sufficient for users to enjoy a premium-level audio experience—when their device features OZO Audio and Playback capabilities, it is sure to sound good.

The reason for this universal sound quality? A lot of Nokia OZO’s capabilities are about the software intelligence rather than hardware. For example, Audio 3D is one of the central features of OZO Audio. It allows the listener to step inside the world of the capturer, with an immersive sound that goes far beyond the expectations one would have previously expected from a mobile device. The positioning of the two microphones on most devices means that the output is almost identical to that of three- or four-microphone devices and almost nothing is lost to the naked ear.

Similarly, features such as Ambient Noise Reduction, Audio Windscreen and Intelligent Noise Reduction all work to their full effect to allow users to record their memorable moments without being drowned out by external factors such as traffic noise or gusts of wind. Meanwhile, Audio Zoom, another flagship OZO Audio feature, is able to attenuate noises along the sides of the device that contain microphones, or amplify sounds in those directions. This can be particularly helpful, for example, in professional interview scenarios. 

When it comes to experiencing audio-visual content in playback, there are almost no limits on the kinds of mobile devices that can deliver OZO Playback’s cinematic experience. Playback can be experiences either through headphones or through the device’s own loudspeaker capabilities – which is where the number of loudspeakers comes into account. Nokia’s world-class audio engineers work hard to create a bespoke audio playback experience to accommodate the device’s hardware, meaning that the available loudspeakers will be utilized to their full effect. Even with a single loudspeaker, it is possible to deliver an enhanced experience that allows users to become fully immersed in whatever content they are viewing. Bass enhancement adds oomph to any mobile device regardless of the number of loudspeakers, and the audio is sure to be equalized correctly for a pleasing sound. Adaptive Loudness, the new OZO Playback feature which enables the user to experience the same audio clarity in any situation, no matter how loud or quiet the surroundings, is applicable to all mobile devices. 

What we set out to do with OZO is change the expectations of consumers with regards to audio experiences on mobile devices. Now that owners of all types of devices can discover the clarity and focus of immersive spatial audio, the scope of OZO is wider than ever before. When you see that a device features OZO capabilities, you can be sure that it will sound good. To find out which features work on two-microphone devices, and which require three or more to operate, visit and get the full story.

Jyri Huopaniemi

About Jyri Huopaniemi

Jyri Huopaniemi is Head of Technology Licensing at Nokia Technologies, working with the world's leading manufacturers to help them integrate Nokia’s audio and visual technology innovations such as OZO Audio into their devices. 

In his 20+ years with Nokia, Jyri has focused on developing and productizing breakthrough innovations in many roles from R&D and standardization to heading licensing business. He has actively contributed to multiple fields of digital media, including audio and imaging technologies, mobile platforms and immersive media solutions. His interests outside work include playing and recording music, mastering digital photography and spending time with his family.

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