First, let us talk about what Embody’s Immerse Hive software offers gamers looking to up their sound. Recently I have reviewed many fantastic headsets that offer spacial and 7.1 audio such as the Audeze Mobius headset which I am still raving about to anyone who will listen. But what if you are a budget gamer that does not have 350$ laying around to use for the purchase of a headset?
This is where Immerse comes into play. For a reasonable $14.99 annual subscription fee you can get that wonderful spatial experience added to a headset that you may already own.
First thing first you need to head over to the Embody website and download the free 14-day trial software. This is great because you have two weeks to test out the software with your favorite headset or headset and see if the sound quality that the Immerse Hive offers is worth the yearly subscription fee. If you are an avid gamer you should be able to meter out the benefits of the Immerse Hive in a few gaming sessions to see if it adds to your overall performance.
So what does this new software offer? The developers describe it as:
Key New Features
- AI-Driven Surround Sound – Hive uses ImmerseTM, the industry-leading HRTF modeling engine that creates a personalized 360 sound field using your game’s native multichannel audio and a picture of your ear. In this personalized audio profile, you hear your opponents before they hear you and game worlds become more believable.
- Optimized for All Headsets – Each headset is acoustically tuned to ensure your gaming experience is distortion-free and cinematic while maintaining the signature sound quality that you love about your headset.
- Game Genre Presets – From precision-enhancing directional awareness to visceral immersion, choose between 3 powerful game genre presets engineered specifically for a wide variety of genres including Fg.PS, MMORPG, MOBA, Racing, and Fighting
- Sonar Map – Receive split-second visual confirmation of where sound is coming from with Sonar Map, a semi-transparent overlay, which drag-and-locks to any part of your screen.
Once installed Immerse asks you to do something quite unique. A link pops up that you scan with your phone and then you are prompted to take a picture of your ear so that the software can best determine your sound properties. I am not sure how much of an overall impact this makes on the sound but I will say it was a bit of fun for the setup.
Once you are scanned in you may pick the type of headset you are using. For me, I was lucky to receive a new Razer Barracuda X to try with my immerse software and just needed to choose it from the pull-down menu of headsets the software supports.
After that, it is time to play with the three basic modes that Immerse offers you.
It was now time to hear what advantages Immerse may have to offer. I decided to pull out my favorite game of hide and seek Dead By Daylight which I have already covered extensively here on GeekDad. Just in time for Halloween the game is celebrating its 21st chapter with the new Hellraiser DLC. What better way to test spatial sound than being chased by Cenobites desperate to get me in their clutches.
I decided to go from wide to close and selected Awaken as the first mode to use. Strangely enough, after trying all three I felt that awaken was my preferred modality. The mode really gave me a sense of space and distance whether it is my own footfalls or the steps of my colleagues around me. Most importantly I could hear the sound cues of the killers as they hunted the area I was trying to hide in.
Both Close Combat and Immerse mode also sounded great but I really preferred Awaken for this game.
Next, I played Red Dead Online as it just released its new Outlaw Pass for September, and once again I preferred the Awaken setting especially when tracking animal sounds for hunting.
Call of Duty Warzone made it a clean sweep for the Awaken mode though at times when in close quarters the aptly named Close Combat mode did really shine in how I could detect other players in close radius to where I was camping out.
Final Thoughts and Recommendations
I really enjoyed playing around with this new Immerse Hive application. Trying the different modes to get new sounds out of familiar playing fields was a joy to behold. I definitely think it offers something for any style of gamer in the market who is looking to get the most out of their already favorite games. The amount of supported headsets grows by the day and there is a good chance that if you are an avid gamer that you may already own all the hardware you need to get the most out of it. At 14.99 for an entire year, Immerse is also extremely affordable. The good news is that if you are on the fence you can try it out for 14 days and see if you enjoy what it brings you. So why wait? Head over to their website and give it a try.
A sample of the Immerse Hive software and the Razer X Barracuda were made available by the manufacturer.
Thoughts expressed in this article are the authors alone and not that of the manufacturer or editorial staff.