How does it work?

Action Audio works by turning spatial data from real time ball monitoring into 3D sound. The system emphasises ball speed and trajectory, proximity to line and shot type, and augments critical moments to allow blind and low vision audiences to follow the game without seeing the ball.

The sound of Action Audio has been informed by four design principles

Social Consideration

Watching sports is a valuable social activity. Action Audio is designed so that everyone can watch together.

Existing Sound Languages

We've adopted similar sound cues to Blind Tennis to remain consistent and familiar with the global blind sports community.

Accentuated Tension Points

Sport is all about pushing the limits. Our solution emphasises dramatic moments to signal when a breakthrough is approaching.

Selective Auditory Attention

We filter out sounds around us in order to focus on other things. We designed Action Audio to be ‘filterable’ so as not to unnecessarily distract.

What does it sound like?

The sound of Action Audio for tennis is based on the game of Blind Tennis, where players use a tennis ball filled with bells. The ringing of the bells enables players to hear the position of the ball when it is hit, when it bounces and as it flies through the air. Action Audio recreates this soundscape using 3D audio technology augmented with synthetic tones to give the listener further information about what is happening in real-time.

Headphones test

It is best to listen to Action Audio through headphones. Before you listen to the samples, use this test to make sure they are on the right way around.

Bounces

When the ball bounces, a bell sound will ring. This sound is positioned in 3D space so that you can judge where on the court the bounce occurred.

As well as the bell sound, a bounce may also be accompanied by a series of short 'blip' tones to indicate how close the ball is to the line. Like the parking sensors on a car, more blips means that the ball is closer to the line. 2 blips means the ball is over 70% of the way to the line from the center of the court, and 3 blips means the ball is over 85% of the way to the line from the center of the court

Hits

When a player hits the ball, a bell sound will ring. Just like the bounces, this sound is positioned in 3D space so that you can judge where on the court the hit occurred.

As well as the bell sound, a hit is always accompanied by another tone that indicates if the hit was a forehand, backhand or overhead/serve. A high pitch tones indicates a forehand, a slightly lower pitched tone indicates a backhand, and the lowest pitched tone indicates a serve or overhead smash.

All together

Here's what it sounds like all together, along with the court audio. Action Audio is always experienced with the live audio of the match, so that none of the organic sounds are missed.

Experience Action Audio

Listen to this rally between Ashley Barty and Danielle Collins in the second set of the Australian Open 2022 women's singles final.

Imagine you are standing behind Barty and Collins is serving towards you from the far end of the court. The current score is Advantage Collins.

Get in touch

If you'd like to explore how Action Audio could be implemented into your sports broadcast, or if you'd like to participate in testing and development, we'd love to here from you.

Or email us directly at
contact@action-audio.com