Microsoft Teams brings new spatial audio feature for immersive meetings on desktops

Microsoft Teams has finally introduced its new feature called spatial audio for desktop users. Check out what it has to offer.

| Updated on: Aug 02 2023, 14:27 IST
Big change! Microsoft Teams announces four new collaborative features
Know about the new spatial audio feature introduced by  Microsoft Teams.
1/5 Microsoft Teams has introduced new features that aim to improve collaboration, productivity, and efficiency. According to Microsoft, it focuses on enhancing video experience and calendar management.  (Microsoft )
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2/5 Zoom in and zoom out when viewing screen share: Microsoft has introduced new buttons to zoom in, zoom out, and restore the original size of the incoming screen share. Earlier users had to zoom through pinch-to-zoom gestures on a trackpad, now it has been made more accessible. (Microsoft )
Know about the new spatial audio feature introduced by  Microsoft Teams.
3/5 Copy links to group chat messages: Now you don’t need to find a specific message in a busy group chat. You can just attach link directly to a specific message. The receiver can view the entire history of chats related to the discussion.  (REUTERS)
Know about the new spatial audio feature introduced by  Microsoft Teams.
4/5 Video enhancements in Teams chat: Teams will now allow you to preview and play the video directly in chat when you receive a recorded video saved in OneDrive or SharePoint. Additionally, you can enable English captions, and more languages soon. (Windows Latest/Microsoft)
Know about the new spatial audio feature introduced by  Microsoft Teams.
5/5 Teams calendar enhancements: Users can now organize their day with the agenda vide feature where they can see the list of events including agenda, and meeting link, and you will be able to chat with participants and access meeting notes, recordings, and transcripts. In addition, to reschedule a meeting you just have to drag and drop to the new time slot in the calendar. (Pexels)
Know about the new spatial audio feature introduced by  Microsoft Teams.
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Know about the new spatial audio feature introduced by Microsoft Teams. (Microsoft )

Earlier in April, Microsoft announced that it was testing its new feature called spatial audio for the desktop teams version. Now, Microsoft has availed this feature for all desktop users on Windows and macOS. The idea of this feature was to bring immersive sounds during virtual meetings. During the call, each caller receives a unique position on the screen that corresponds to their location with the spatial audio feature that ensures the voices sound spread out during a call. That means you will hear the sounds like how you would in real life.

As per Microsoft, this feature will enable users to have natural conversations with enhanced audio presence. Now, with the feature being available to everyone, users can take advantage of improved audio meetings.

About spatial feature and its limitations

The spatial audio feature is available for every desktop device that supports audio. You can enable the feature through the device setting before joining the meeting. When in the meeting, go to More, then go to Settings and look for Device settings. Then select between the wired stereo headset or built-in stereo speakers from the Speakers options, and finally switch on the spatial audio.

“Teams Spatial Audio aligns the perceived audio location of each participant with their video representation to make it easier for users to track who is speaking, to understand better when multiple speakers are speaking at the same time, and to lower meeting fatigue and cognitive load,” Microsoft's Hong Sodoma wrote.

But is all sunny with spatial audio or are there some less talked about limitations to this feature as well? The feature does not support Bluetooth earbuds or headphones. To use the spatial audio feature without any interruption, you will have to use a stereo-capable device such as a wired headset or stereo-capable laptop. Due to protocol restrictions, Bluetooth devices are not supported at this time. But soon we can expect that the stereo-capable Bluetooth devices will be supported in LE Audio in the upcoming version as per Sodoma.

The Verge reports that in May, Microsoft incorporated support for Bluetooth LE, so it is expected that Teams' spatial audio will soon support wireless devices such as Samsung, Sony, OnePlus, EarFun and more.

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First Published Date: 02 Aug, 14:27 IST