SoundFi has created a way to provide inviting 3D audio to ordinary headphones and smartphones, and it launches an iPhone app that enhances the sound of the movie Equalizer 2 when the movie opens on Friday.  The free app will work with regular headphones and smartphones that viewers take the theaters (four theaters in Los Angeles, and one in Arizona) where the movie is playing. And that will make the movie experience better through its "binaural" sound, SoundFi said. This is one of the ways that filmmakers and theater owners hope to bring more people back to theaters.
I met SoundFi at the Consumer Electronics Show in January, and much has happened since then. To assess, the Los Angeles company's new format adds the liquid sounds from a surround sound system to your headphones. It changes the content in a spatial way so that sports, movies and other content can be fully enjoyed as they are meant to be.
If you download SoundFi: In the Movie iOS app, you get the ability to play the sound of a movie in spatial audio format. You select the movie, download the sound for it, and fire the app in the theater to listen to the movie. You can even use the app to listen to the movie in another language via headphones.
In the theater you can sit in any seat and put on your headphones connected to the smartphone. You do not have to worry about being in the sweet spot of the audio system, and synchronization is automated, "says Chris Anastas, co-founder of SoundFi.
I'm not a sound file, but I listened to it. And it sounds fuller, louder, and had deeper bass than the headphones I've used before. Some theaters definitely have fancy sound systems, but SoundFi-enhanced headphones play a synchronized version of the movie's sound to ensure that the sound quality is high.
The technology is the brainchild of Anastas and Bill Kehoe, who has worked for more than five years. They started in 2014 and increased $ 3 million in an early financing round. After revealing the technology at CES, SoundFi could increase another $ 2.2 million, says Anastas.
"SoundFi: On Movies is smartphone app to allow you to enjoy the SoundFi format in an auditorium," said Anastas. "Binaural sound is completely different from sound from a speaker. It requires headphones and it's personal to you. It gives you an idea of the direction of the sound."
Antoine Fuqua, director of the Colombia Pictures movie Equalizer 2 has joined the CEO and partner with SoundFi. Equalizer 2, like stars Denzel Washington, becomes the first of a variety of movies to use the SoundFi format, Anastas said.
"As a movie fan you will disappear in a movie," Fuqua said in a video. "You will forget about everything else happening in your life and disappear into a movie. SoundFi allows you to do it in a way that is unique."
If it's a shot or a curly cricket, SoundFi will reinforce it. It's supposed to be heard, Fuqua said.
For theaters, it may be easier to promote SoundFi than installing an expensive surround sound system in a theater.
Anastas and Bill Kehoe started the company in 2014. They published it on CES, and within 24 hours, an agent from the Creative Artists Agency company sent a call. It eventually led to Fuqua getting involved.
An Android version will be coming soon. SoundFi takes after-production 5.1, 7.1 and object-based audio mixes, making them a binaural
spatial audio format that provides a personal audio experience, whether you're watching a new movie in the theater or soon watching a movie streamed to a computer, phone or mobile device.
Over time, SoundFi will probably start charging a fee for each movie soundtrack that a user downloads.