Watching video on a mobile device is far from being the same as when we’re enjoying booming sound from giant cinema speakers.

Sound technology has come a long way, but it’s by no means perfect. In the future, however, headphones could be almost invisible and the mobile listening experience may be just as thrilling the best home theatre. What's more, your headphones could tell when the sounds going on outside are more important than your music or movies.

BBC Future visited the headquarters of Dolby Laboratories, Inc in San Francisco – a company synonymous with high quality sound. Dolby's Mary Anderson explained the next generation of audio technology – and how sound may be about to get a lot smarter. 

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