Embody has created some special audio software called Immerse. There are several versions you can download, but today marks a large push into official support of popular PC gaming headsets with their latest software called Immerse Gaming HIVE. Before we get into the what, let’s talk about the why.
Gamers are always looking for a competitive edge wherever they can get it. Whether it be refining your skills, grinding to unlock better gear, or investing in better hardware, there’s always something that can help. When it comes to competitive gaming there are three major factors outside of skill itself:
- Visual performance – Graphics Cards, Processors, Monitors, etc.
- Input devices – Mouse and Keyboards, controllers, mousepads, etc.
- Audio performance – Headphones, DAC/Amp, mic, customization software, etc.
Immerse focuses on that third and critical piece that is audio. As an audio fanatic myself, I think headphones are a critical piece to the puzzle and should always be factored into your gaming budget. Not only do better headphones improve on comfort, but they reproduce sound in a more accurate and detailed manner. What makes Immerse special is they have created software to maximize the performance of your headphone regardless of which model you have. The best part? They all start with a 14-day free trial (no credit card needed!) so you can hear for yourself prior to making an investment.
How it Works
In simple terms, Immerse takes the shape of your ear and the audio profile of your headset to make uniquely tuned sound profiles specifically for you. You are then presented with three sound profiles to use with different very different performance. Additionally, you can now leverage an incredibly innovative Sonar Map that shows full 7.1 directionality while playing your favorite PC game. No more guessing if the sound is directly behind or in front of you any more. This in theory should give you the best possible listening experience and maximize your competitive edge. So let’s dive deeper to explain how it all works.
Immerse is a multi step process. First, download the app from the website HERE. After you install it, you will be presented with a QR code. Scan the QR code with your phone which then uses your phone’s camera to take a picture of your right ear. Once you’re happy with the shot, click send and within a couple minutes your ear profile is processed. Immerse uses your ear shape, knowledge from expert audio engineers, and AI to custom tune an audio profile specifically for your ear shape. Pretty radical right?
Once your ear profile is imported the next step is to select your headset model. If you selected the HIVE version of Immerse, you are presented with brands like Audeze, HyperX, SteelSeries, Razer, Corsair, Sennheiser and more. A huge win is the support for all headphones. Most virtual sound software solutions are exclusive to single models or brands, which can be a problem if you’ve grown accustomed to the software and switch headset models down the road. With the “Can’t find your headset” option in HIVE, you can select if you have a closed back, IEM, or open-back headphone. This lets you take advantage of the virtual sound processing and ear tuning without being tied to a specific headset model. WIN.
The final step is choosing your audio profile (there are three) to customize the sound to your liking. The profiles vary in their intent, with some crushing dynamics a bit to give you the utmost edge on footsteps, while others maximize game immersion and audio richness. The good news is, with the Sonar Map active, it’s very easy to cycle through all three modes while in game if you want to try them all out. If you don’t use the Sonar Map (why wouldn’t you), pressing Alt+4 will switch through audio presets as well.
Real-World Performance and Benefits
I had been using the Audio-Technica version for my ATH-G1WLs for a while prior to the HIVE launch with much success. In face, the very first video I recorded with the Immerse Sonar Map active immediately gave me useful content for this review (full video review above shows this in real time). Surprisingly, I did not expect my Audio-Technica headphones to sound better from gaming focused software but even music quality improved. The ATH-G1WLs are a decent wireless gaming headset option but I find the high treble slightly sharp. Loud volumes can result in some ear pain/fatigue over time as a result. Thankfully, the Immerse audio calibration fixed this headset’s sharp treble and made it damn near perfect. I didn’t lose any detail, but the ear pain is gone which is a remarkable feat.
Jumping over to the new HIVE version, I gladly plugged in my EPOS GSP 601 headphones, powered by the matched EPOS GSX 300 amp. I submitted my ear pic to the HIVE app, and selected the GSP 601 headset from the large list of options. Within minutes I was up and running. Like before, I saw immediate utility to HIVE. It’s not just the sound quality improvements for gaming (both in immersion and positional awareness), but the Sonar Map feature is remarkable. Headphones are almost always a 2-channel affair. That means any surround reproduction is done through software. It can help, but at the end of the day if something is directly behind you or directly in front of you at the same distance, it will be hard to immediately pinpoint where the sound is coming from unless you turn half-way. What the Sonar Map does is eliminate the guesswork by showing the true 7.1 audio feed on screen while you play. This clearly shows if something is in front or behind and eliminates any doubt. This advantage is so huge in a competitive landscape that it alone should be a reason you should consider HIVE. Consider too that footsteps are easier to pick up and pinpoint, and you have a clear boost to your game.
I’m going to be candid here. There’s no reason not to try this if you’re a PC gamer. The program is lightweight on resources (which will keep your precious framerate) and free to try for 14 days. If you don’t like it, it’s easy to uninstall and doesn’t leave junk behind on the computer. Now that you know it’s zero risk, think about the potential upside of using something like this to give you a competitive edge. As a Warzone player, HIVE is not only useful, it’s game changing.
You can download, try, and purchase here: