The sensory system that allows human beings to hear is called the auditory system. It consists of two main parts: the ear, which converts sound energy into neural signals, and the brain which receives and processes those signals into useful information.

The auditory system is, essentially, a very sensitive organ. It’s responsible for converting a sound from simple vibrations into waves of pressure that travel from the outer ear, through the ear canal and into the middle ear. In the inner ear they take on a much more complicated role before being translated to brain waves so that we can properly understand them. This process is dependent on thousands of hair cells. If any are missing or damaged, the auditory system is badly impacted and can become less sensitive, thus transmitting less information to the brain and causing hearing loss - something that no esports athlete wants. 

It goes without saying that to gaming, the functionality of the auditory system is vital. It allows a player to recognise and detect sounds, identify where they are coming from, extract meaning from them and finally apply an action to them. It also enables communication - a vital part of any gaming experience, especially when competing as part of a team.

But how exactly does the auditory system work? Let’s follow a sound through this journey to better understand the process involved in converting vibrations into audio experiences...