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The perception of sound as coming from left/right, above/below, and front/back.


  • When our phone rings while we’re in the next room, we are able to locate it by being able to perceive the direction of the sound.
  • In the Microsoft Independence Day Project (a system for vision-impaired users to navigate using a 3D-soundscape), while it’s navigating you around the city, relevant information will sound like it’s coming from a specific direction. For example, information about a store on your left will sound like it’s coming from you left side.



Direction cues obvious have orientational implications. It’s commonly used today to create immersive experiences through things like surround sound or by having certain elements play on certain side of left/right speakers.

Direction is often related to distance.


Directional sound creates the illusion of space that might not necessarily be there. It has the potential to create an environment when there is none.


The direction of sound might influence us to literally act in a different direction (turn to look or walk towards).


Doppler effect caused by direction & distance

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