Taking part in a Microsoft Teams call could soon be a much more pleasant experience, at least sonically, with the news of a significant audio boost coming to the video conferencing service.
Microsoft has revealed it is working on adding spatial audio to Microsoft Teams, giving a major upgrade to the platform’s sound capabilities that should make meetings less sterile and more interactive.
Spatial audio has become a catch-all phrase for the more immersive sound formats (such as Dolby Atmos) that are quickly being embraced by many consumers across the world for their increased quality and detail, taking the audio experience into new dimensions and making you feel like you’re in the heart of the action.
Quite how much the technologies in the home cinema domain will translate to your work meetings remains to be seen, but Microsoft says that the update will bring “next-generation spatialized audio” to Teams, giving the impression that users, “can meet like you’re there together”.
There’s little detail regarding the exact specifications or even approaches Microsoft Teams will be taking with spatial audio, with the entry on the Microsoft 365 roadmap (opens in new tab) very light on content for now.
“This intelligent audio technology makes the meeting experience more natural, inclusive and focused for everyone,” is all that’s mentioned for now – however Microsoft has been hard at work recently aiming to improve the general audio quality for Teams users everywhere.
In June 2022, the company revealed the launch of a Microsoft AI and machine learning model aimed at improving the audio quality on video calls. Trained on 30,000 hours of speech samples, the model’s improvements include echo cancellation, better adjusting audio in poor acoustic environments, and allowing users to speak and hear at the same time without interruptions.
Microsoft says that its AI can now detect the difference between sound from a speaker and the user’s voice, fixing a common issue when a microphone is too close to a speaker and causes a feedback loop which manifests as an echo.