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Steam Audio: Spatial Audio Tech Announced, Beta SDK Available Now




Multiplatform Spatial Audio Solution Offered Free of Charge

February 23, 2017 - The Steam Audio SDK is available now via a free Beta.

Steam Audio is the product of many years of academic and industry research and development, and is designed to enhance all interactive products, specifically VR applications. It is the next generation of the Phonon spatial audio tools previously developed by Impulsonic, which is now part of Valve.

The Steam Audio SDK is available free of charge, without any royalty requirements. Supporting multiple platforms (Windows, Linux, macOS, Android), Steam Audio is not restricted to any particular VR device or to Steam.

Visit the Steam Audio Community Hub to hear examples of what's possible with this technology.

The Steam Audio SDK currently supports the Unity engine and includes a C API for integration into other game engines and audio middleware.

"Adding Steam Audio to the arsenal of tools available to Unity developers gives them an easy solution for extending the acoustic depths of their VR and desktop creations, and is the latest result of our collaboration with Valve," said Tony Parisi, Head of VR/AR Strategy at Unity Technologies.

Meanwhile, Epic Games will be demoing Steam Audio in Unreal Engine technology at GDC next week.

"As a new plugin for the new Unreal Audio Engine, Steam Audio fundamentally extends its capabilities and provides a multi-platform solution to game audio developers who want to create realistic and high-quality sound propagation, reverberation modeling, and binaural spatialization for their games," said Aaron McLeran, audio programmer at Epic Games.

Steam Audio is an advanced spatial audio solution that uses physics-based sound propagation in addition to HRTF-based binaural audio for increased immersion. Spatial audio significantly improves immersion in VR; adding physics-based sound propagation further improves the experience by consistently recreating how sound interacts with the virtual environment.

"Valve is always trying to advance what the very best games and entertainment can offer," said Anish Chandak of Valve. "Steam Audio is a feature-rich spatial audio solution available to all developers, for use wherever and however they want to use it."

The Steam Audio SDK is available now in beta and will see ongoing updates as Valve gathers feedback from the development community. For more information, please visit

The examples from the Community Hub:

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