Immerse Gaming | Hive powered by Embody is a spatial audio system for gamers that revolves around accuracy and immersion. We were given the opportunity to try out the Hive software recently and put it to the test with a variety of games and applications.
Before delving into the finer details about the software and its use, we need to explain what exactly it does. Immerse Gaming | Hive software from Embody is in their own words an “AI-Driven spatial audio gaming software” that “integrates seamlessly with your favourite PC games and gaming headphones to bring you unmatched tactical advantage and sonic immersion”. Sounds quite fancy right? Truthfully, it really is.
Day in and day out we use our trusty Corsair Void headset. We play games with this, we use it for voice calling and we listen to music with it. It is safe to say that we know what the headset sounds like. Upon installing the Immerse Gaming | Hive software and opting in for the generic spatial audio profile, the software immediately made a world of difference to our auditory senses.
Unfortunately, in the list of headsets placed under the Corsair option in the software, the Void series never showed up. Corsair’s HS range however was featured here which was great to see, especially since they are quite an affordable range for gamers. Hopefully Embody will be able to add the Void series of devices to the line-up too in a future update to the software.
The list of headsets in the software is quite extensive featuring quite a lot of extremely popular devices such as the Steelseries Arctis range and HyperX’s Cloud headsets. If your headset is not featured though, fear not, you can select a “universal” or generic profile which can be applied to closed-back, open-back and in-ear devices. The software’s main selling point however lies with the fact that it can be used to build a spatial profile based on your actual head and ear shape. The Head Related Transfer Function or HRTF profile models how sound reflects around your head and ears before entering the eardrum. The Immerse Gaming | Hive software does this when you upload a picture of your right ear. You can check out a video explaining this in further detail below.
The key takeaway from the above is that the software can be used to piece together a spatial sound profile that’s tailor made to you, as the gamer or user. This spatial sound profile means that the sound you hear from your own headset will be adjusted via the Immerse Gaming | Hive software to suit you in a far more personal way, delivering a much better overall audio experience.
Loading up an HRTF profile is pretty straightforward, however we did have some difficulties with regards to the way this is done. Users will have to scan a QR code with their cellphone, which opens a browser page and then allow camera access to their browser to take a photo of their right ear and upload it. Why we couldn’t just take the photo ourselves and upload a JPG image via a drop down menu or a button after transferring the image to our PC, is anyone’s guess. Hopefully this can be added as a feature with an update as it would simplify the on-boarding process for loading up an HRTF profile even more.
Using the software for games, we noticed immediately that when spatial audio is disabled, sounds do not have the same “location” to them as with the option enabled. In a game such as Counter Strike: Global Offensive or in Battlefield 5, this makes a world of a difference. Users will be able to hear footsteps or the enemy approaching from a specific direction and if they enable the Sonar option in the software, a handy overlay icon will show up with a directional radar showing where exactly the sounds are coming from. In our testing, this didn’t work super smoothly with sounds showing up from the front left and right more often than elsewhere though we suspect this was because of the generic profile applied to the Corsair Void headset. Users that have a headset that’s listed in the software itself might have a different experience in this regard.
The Immerse Gaming | Hive software also features the ability to switch between 3 preset sound profiles. This is great with one set aimed at FPS titles, another geared towards MOBAs/MMORPGs and lastly the final option for standard RPGs or racing games. Each of these profiles makes a massive difference to the sound you hear from your own headset with each profile adjusting the 7.1 surround sound profile accordingly.
We found that using the “Immerse” option worked best for music and gaming. It sounded the best of the three profiles overall but opinions may vary as with most things audio related. Users are advised to play around with the settings and see what they like the most.
Additionally, if you are going to use the Sonar option when gaming, you can further customize this in the settings. Users can also move the Sonar overlay around quite easily so they can place it out of the way of a game’s UI if necessary. Kudos to Embody for making this work so effortlessly.
Embody’s Immerse Gaming | Hive software is available from their website and has an annual subscription fee attached. However there is a free trial available so users can download it and try it out for themselves. There’s nothing to lose here so we highly recommend giving it a try before deciding to purchase a subscription to the software.
Users can also find an informative video which will help them get set up. You can see this below
For more information about Immerse Gaming | Hive spatial audio software, head on over to Embody’s website here. We highly recommend giving it a try! Especially if you play games that can make full use of spatial audio.
A 14 Day Trial code was provided to Gameblur by Immerse Gaming