The SIRIUS Sound Quality

4 questions about the sound quality in SIRIUS, and in other videoconferencing systems.
4 questions about the sound quality in SIRIUS, and in other videoconferencing systems.

“Now, is the sound actually better with SIRIUS?”
“Can it be measured?”
“Why is the sound so lousy in other videoconferencing systems?”
“How does the SIRIUS sound quality come about?”

What is it about the brilliant SIRIUS sound quality? We answer these 4 questions in this article.
Most importantly: convince yourself of the SIRIUS sound quality!
Test SIRIUS for free and without obligation.

1. “Is the sound actually better, with SIRIUS?”

Yes! At the suggestion of the Karajan Academy, the “talent school” of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, SIRIUS was developed specifically for online music lessons. The close exchange between students in Shanghai and teachers in Berlin simply could not take place with conventional video conferencing systems.

The audio transmission of Zoom and Skype is optimized for speaking in business meetings. Here, various audio filters and compression methods are used to emphasize speech. And that’s why these systems cannot convey musical subtleties and nuances.

Therefore, SIRIUS was developed. It is based on the sound technology needs of the Karajan Academy and thus enables musical exchange, across 8000 km.

We, here at SIRIUS have received fantastic feedback from our users. Also, we are quite proud to support excellent professionals like Joel Quarrington from the Conservatoire de musique de Montréal. From him we heard that the very low bass tones of the double bass are interpreted as noise in current video conferencing systems. They are canceled out of the sound transmission. Obviously, this is no way to teach ambitious online music lessons! The fact that Joel can capture the entire sound spectrum of his instrument via SIRIUS is a “game changer” for him.

🤩 Here is a list of our prominent SIRIUS ambassadors.

SIRIUS transmits sound uncompressed and at high bandwidth.
With a click, you can easily turn off the audio filters and noise reduction.

You can easily adjust the quality of the sound yourself, according to the available internet connection.

A critical factor for musical exchange is latency.
Latency is the time delay that occurs when musicians make music, separated by a significant distance. For example, from one side of a large stage or orchestra to the other side. Online, even more aspects complicate synchronized music-making.

In SIRIUS, latency is minimized to 60-80ms which is a big improvement compared to other video conferencing systems. However, it is almost impossible to overcome natural latency without expensive hardware.

If you want to learn more about latency, check out this article on our blog.

2. “Can you measure quality of sound?”

SIRIUS sound quality can only be measured with real ears via a comparative A/B test.
Even renowned sound engineers like Christoph Franke at the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra say that sound quality cannot be measured with machines.

However, what we can definitely say is that SIRIUS sound quality is partly related to the transmission rate.

SIRIUS ensures a much higher audio bit rate (amount of sound transmission per second). The audio transmission always has priority over the video transmission. This means that the picture may become pixelated, for example, when the internet connection decreases.

The good news is that the audio transmission remains constantly strong. Because it has priority over the video transmission.

SIRIUS sound quality transmission is always at least 64 kbit/s. If you have a good Internet connection and are using a microphone and headphones, it is worth increasing the audio transmission to 192 kbit/s with a click. This way you achieve a sound quality in CD quality!
In general: adjust the video and audio quality to the available internet connection, so your SIRIUS session delivers maximum stable sound quality.

Source: &

3. “Why is the sound so lousy in other video conferencing systems?”

For comparison, look at this 👆 graphic to see the transfer rate at which other services transmit sound.

The well-established provider for business meetings Zoom from California delivers an audio bitrate of 60-80 kbit/s.
Skype, one of the first video call systems that enabled us to have international video meetings since 2003 is unfortunately even less suitable for online music classes: it transmits sound at an average of 36 kbit/s.

Maybe you listen to music on Spotify from time to time? They stream music there at 128 kbit/s as standard — and that sounds pretty good for MP3-based sound quality!

SIRUS focuses on the excellent and true-to-original sound transmission of musical instruments and vocals. Using the virtual music room settings, you can increase the sound transmission up to 192 kbit/s – which is equivalent to CD quality! 💿

4. “How does SIRIUS sound quality come about?”

In a survey we conducted in June 2021, 86.6% of SIRIUS users said that high SIRIUS sound quality is most important to them.
For 84.7% of all respondents, reliability of the connection is most important.
So why is it that SIRIUS can provide very high sound quality, so consistently?

For musicians, nuances and subtleties must be transmitted.
That’s why the compression mechanisms in SIRIUS can be switched off with a click. This allows a very broad sound spectrum to be transmitted. Even sounds that would be interpreted as noise in a business meeting are included.

Since these audio filters can sometimes be useful, they are integrated into SIRIUS — but you can simply switch them off in the settings:

  • Echo cancellation: Suppress the feedback loop when teaching without headphones.
  • Background Noise Filter: This allows you to block out street noise or the washing machine from your SIRIUS session.
  • Auto Gain Control: This is used to control “too low” or “too loud” incoming audio signals.

Another important factor for the SIRIUS sound quality in online music lessons is the duplex mechanism.
Duplex means that the transmission happens with two audio channels.
This means that you can both play, sing or talk at the same time and neither is muted. A great advantage for music lessons!

Now that you’ve learned a bit about the SIRIUS sound quality, why not try it out?

Check it out and see if SIRIUS is suitable for your online music lessons.

All you need is a stable internet connection, a device with a Chrome browser and the free STARTER subscription …and good👂ears.


FREE SIRIUS Version with all the features

Tagesspiegel-Article on Karajan Akademie x SOA in Shanghai, via SIRIUS.

The SIRIUS Ambassador-List

Supportcenter: Sound-Settings

Article on “Latency” by Caleb Dolister

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