SRS iWow 3D

I just bought an audio dongle recommended by Dick DiBartolo and Leo Laporte on the GizWiz podcast. It's called the iWow 3D by SRS, and it makes the sound seem three-dimensional. I can't explain it, but I'm addicted to it. It's available as a hardware dongle for headphones and earbuds and as software for computer speakers. Have you heard about this technology and how it works? I'm interested in what you think.

Adam Davis

I've certainly heard of it—and heard it—and I agree it's pretty remarkable. Both the hardware dongle (seen here) and the software app use mathematical algorithms called head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) to model how we perceive sound coming from various directions to create a more immersive, "out of head" experience. The specific HTRF that's used depends on whether you are listening on headphones/earbuds, speakers, or in the car, which you select in the app, and the connected dongle is updated accordingly.

The iWow 3D also uses SRS's TruBass technology to enhance the low frequencies. This technology is based on a principle called "the missing fundamental." According to SRS, "A series of harmonics are emphasized in the range that a typical headphone can reproduce. The harmonics cause the ear/brain system to perceive bass about one octave lower than would normally be possible. The audio perception system fills in the "missing fundamental." TruBass also does dynamic processing to increase the impact of the bass and to limit driver excursion." Pretty darn cool if you ask me!

If you have an A/V question, please send it to

Enter your Sound & Vision username.
Enter the password that accompanies your username.