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YH-L700A Headphones 3D Sound Field Technology

Bringing an immersive 3D listening experience to a head near you.

In 1964, IBM announced the System/360, an industry-changing computer system that was eventually used to process data for the Apollo 11 moon landing. It was powerful for its time but mammoth in size, occupying an entire room.

A girl wearing headphones with a dog on her lap watching a movie on a tablet.
(Photograph © Emma Loggins.)

From that impressive beast to desktop computers, laptops and smartphones, technology has steadily evolved into a smaller, more personal form that now even includes wearables. It’s no surprise then that home theater technology has evolved from full-blown multi-channel surround sound with multiple speakers to the latest Yamaha wireless headphone technology: 3D Sound Field, which enables you to enjoy an immersive listening experience wherever you are. Now, whether you’re watching a football game or concert video on your phone, or streaming content from Netflix® or YouTube™ on your tablet, you can enjoy a cinema-like experience. It’s like being in your own completely portable personal theater!

Intrigued? Read on …


Wireless headphones.
Yamaha YH-L700A.

The first product to incorporate 3D Sound Field is the new Yamaha YH-L700A wireless noise-cancelling over-ear headphones, which use something called a Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF for short) to mathematically model how your ears receive sound from a point in space. This sophisticated processing considers your head and ear shape and size, among other individual details, along with knowledge of the way our brains process sound and use cues to determine where sounds are coming from. Together, this enables the localization of particular sound sources.

Next, 3D Sound Field takes the wireless Bluetooth® signal, which is stereo or two-channel, and expands it to five channels, with dialogue in the center and sound effects to the left and right as originally intended.

Comparison between two-channel in-head presentation and immersive "out-of-head" sound.

Yamaha engineers applied their considerable expertise with home audio sound field processing, gained over decades of developing technologies like YPAO and CINEMA DSP HD3, to create different 3D Sound Field modes, similar to the sound programs on Yamaha AV receivers. Seven available modes, from Cinema to Music Video to Concert Hall, provide the optimal headphone listening experience for every type of content.

Seven 3D Sound Field Modes

Playback can be customized based on the type of content and a listener’s preference:

  • Modes for Movies and Shows: Cinema, Drama
  • Modes for Music Videos: Concert Hall, Outdoor Live, Music Video
  • Modes for Music Only: Audio Room, BGM

Here’s a video that demonstrates how each of these modes recreates sound in a three-dimensional space:


3D Sound Field works with any stereo content from virtually any source, including both iOS and Android™ devices, as the audio processing is handled inside the headphones.


Click here for more information about Yamaha YH-L700A wireless headphones.

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