Meet The Makers: S-Force Front Surround
Xperia XZ Premium’s 4K HDR screen may be the show-stealer on the spec sheet, but our engineers didn’t cut corners when it came to sound. Sony’s long history of audio expertise allowed us to take decades of audio know-how and bring that to XZ Premium, XZ1 and XZ1 Compact.
Not only does it give you the best music experience to date with High Resolution Audio but it also comes with Sony’s proprietary S-Force Front Surround.
S-Force Front Surround gives you the great experience of surround sound but through the front two speakers, meaning you can enjoy the surround sound field without shelling out for additional kit.
To find out more about the creation of S-Force Front Surround, we chatted to Hardware Acoustic Engineer, Yuki Ikeda, based over at our HQ in Tokyo.
Can you tell us a little about what S-Force Front Surround is?
Surround sound requires multi-channel speakers to reproduce the intended sound field. The S-Force Front Surround technology emulates this sound field with just a pair of front speakers.
Why is it important to have S-Force Front Surround?
Content is more enjoyable with surround sound and more and more people are using their phones to watch TV shows and movies on the move thanks to the increasing ways they can access content such as Amazon and Netflix. It’s important to provide our customers with the best experience and make the most out of what they’re watching.
Is it because people are consuming more entertainment on their phones?
Yes, the scale of content is increasing and also the quality is improving.
How did you go about testing it?
We used skilled acoustic engineers to fine tune the technology and check the sound quality, as the effect of virtual surround sound is not easily measurable.
What are the challenges of delivering quality speakers in such a small environment?
It is hard to maintain the stereo sound from a smartphone, because the design restrictions mean the inner structure of the two speakers aren’t often identical. We do the mechanical designing first and make the acoustics as level as possible through computer simulation before fine-tuning with signal processing to make the speakers even more balanced.
Can you explain virtual sound research and how this helped in the development?
Sony R&D handles the research on the core technology, so close cooperation with them always helps to maximise the potential of the device.
What are you working on next?
I’m working on our next project :) Can’t wait to unveil it in the future.
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