Immersive audio is our everyday experience of being able to hear and interact with sounds around us. Simulating spatially located sounds in virtual or augmented reality (VR/AR) must be done in a unique way for each individual and currently requires expensive, time-consuming individual measurements, making it commercially unfeasible. The impact of immersive audio beyond perceptual metrics such as presence and localisation is still an unexplored area of research, specifically when related with social interaction, entering the behavioural and cognitive realms.

SONICOM deals with the way we interact socially within AR/VR environments. It will create a new generation of immersive audio technologies and techniques, specifically looking at personalisation and customisation of the audio rendering by means of machine-learning techniques. Using a data-driven approach it will explore, map, and model how the physical characteristics of spatialised auditory stimuli can influence observable behavioural, physiological, kinematic, and psychophysical reactions of listeners within social interaction scenarios.

SONICOM is a five-year research project funded under the Horizon2020 FET Proactive. It involves an international team of ten research institutions and creative tech companies from six European countries, with Lorenzo Picinali (Imperial College, London, UK) as the project coordinator. More details can found at the SONICOM website:

Our (ÖAW's) role within SONICOM is the work on immersion (WP1) by investigating simply way to personalize binaural audio (T1.1) and creating better auditory models (T1.2), the work on integration (WP3) by developing self-personalizing headphones (T3.2), and the development of the SONICOM ecosystem (WP5) to provide sustainable resources for other even beyond the SONICOM project. 

SONICOM Team at the öAW

Project investigator: Piotr Majdak (ARI)

Project team: Florian Pausch (ARI), Nicki Holighaus (ARI), Wolfgang Kreuzer (ARI), Katharina Pollack (ARI), Jonathan Stuefer (ARI), Michael Mihocic (ARI), Christiane Herzog (ARI), Roberto Barumerli (ARI), Felix Perfler (ARI), Herwig Stöger (ÖAW Press). 

Duration: January 2021 to June 2026

SONICOM publications (related to ÖAW's team)

  • 7 publications under review, details to be announced soon.

The SONICOM project receives funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement #101017743.