Clubhouse revolves around drop-in audio chatrooms, so wouldn't it make sense if they sounded more like rooms? They will now, if you have the right hardware. The company is rolling out spatial audio support to the Clubhouse app for iOS, giving you and participants a more "lifelike" conversation. You might remember who's speaking based on where their voice is coming from, not just what they sound like.
The feature will "slowly" reach all new iOS users starting today, and will be the default experience (you can turn it off if you prefer). Android is "coming soon," Clubhouse said. We've asked the company if you need earbuds or headphones that explicitly support spatial audio, like the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max.
This addition probably won't make you choose Clubhouse over Facebook's Live Audio Rooms or Twitter Spaces. It may give you a reason to stick to Clubhouse, though, and it could be particularly helpful if 'flat' chatrooms feel too detached from reality.
Hear ye, hear ye 🔊 spAAaAaAatial audio on Clubhouse!
It's like surround sound, but w/ your own headphones. A more vibrant, human experience! Plus makes it much easier to tell who's talking.
thanks to @juberti for this one 👏 rolling out now on iOS, Android coming soon! pic.twitter.com/Zit6F9ijRK
— Clubhouse (@Clubhouse) August 29, 2021
Update 8/29 2:12PM ET: Clubhouse told Engadget all wired and wireless headphones will support spatial audio. You won't hear it when you're speaking with Bluetooth audio due to technical limitations, but the effect will still be applied. The company hoped to address that issue with "mobile OS makers" (read: Apple and Google).