iHeartRadio is launching binaural podcasts with iHeart 3D Audio

iHeartMedia is paving the way for a new type of podcast format, one that involves 3D audio for a more lifelike experience. The company has announced iHeart 3D Audio alongside its plan to branch out into binaural podcasting, which will offer listeners a 3D experience, at least when they listen to the shows using headphones.

Put simply, binaural audio is recorded using two microphones that record from different positions simultaneously. The resulting stereo audio provides a 3D experience; listeners will perceive something like a room with the speakers and other noises seemingly emanating from their natural position in that space.

This type of audio experience is particularly welcome for dramatized productions, such as podcasts that tell fictional stories complete with sound effects. iHeart 3D Audio follows iHeartMedia's successful '13 Days of Halloween' binaural audio series made in partnership with Blumhouse Television.

iHeart 3D Audio will continue with the '13 Days' series, releasing new content for major holidays. Joining those holiday specials will be a new podcast called The Mantawauk Caves co-produced with Blumhouse Television, plus 3D audio bonus episodes for existing hit podcasts.

Aaron Mahnke, creator, writer, and producer who collaborated on the '13 Days of Halloween' series, said:

I collaborated with iHeartMedia on '13 Days of Halloween,' a podcast that brings listeners right into the essence of a purgatorial hotel using 3D audio. It feels like you're actually in the hotel when you listen. I remember when we were in production for the series and thinking I'd never seen anything like the recording process for a 3D listening experience — even the mic and equipment setup look very different. I knew we were creating something special with '13 Days of Halloween,' and I'm thrilled that iHeartMedia is now doubling down on its 3D audio capabilities to define the next wave in podcast entertainment.