Creative Labs – 0.8MB – Shareware – Windows
out of 188 votes

Immerse yourself in high-quality audio with OpenAL by Creative Labs.

Boris Weber

OpenAL is a powerful audio library that provides advanced spatialization and environmental effects for an enhanced sound experience.

OpenAL, developed by Creative Labs, is an open-source audio library that provides cross-platform capabilities for developers to incorporate high-quality sound and audio effects into their applications and games. Widely adopted for its flexibility and performance, OpenAL offers features for spatial audio rendering, 3D audio positioning, and immersive sound experiences in software applications.

One of the key features of OpenAL is its support for spatial audio rendering, which allows developers to create realistic and dynamic audio environments with accurate positioning of sound sources in three-dimensional space. By leveraging OpenAL's spatial audio capabilities, developers can simulate immersive soundscapes, directional audio effects, and spatial awareness for users interacting with applications or games.

OpenAL offers a range of audio processing features such as sound mixing, volume control, pitch modulation, distance attenuation, and environmental effects to enhance audio realism and quality. Developers can manipulate sound properties, apply filters, alter playback characteristics, and customize audio parameters to create rich and engaging auditory experiences using OpenAL.

The library provides developers with tools for easily integrating complex audio effects, reverberation, echo simulation, and special effects into their applications through the use of the OpenAL API. With intuitive programming interfaces and function calls, developers can implement advanced sound algorithms, create custom soundscapes, and enhance audio interactions for users seamlessly within their software projects.

OpenAL supports multi-channel audio output configurations that enable developers to optimize sound localization, depth perception, and surround sound effects in their applications. Users can experience spatially accurate sound imaging, positional audio cues, and dynamic audio transitions that mimic real-world auditory experiences when interacting with OpenAL-enabled software products.

The library includes cross-platform compatibility for Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android operating systems, allowing developers to create consistent sound experiences across different platforms. By adhering to platform-agnostic standards and APIs, OpenAL offers portability, versatility, and broad support for software development projects targeting diverse computing environments.

OpenAL developed by Creative Labs is a versatile audio library that provides developers with powerful tools for implementing spatial audio rendering, 3D sound positioning, rich audio effects, cross-platform compatibility, and immersive auditory experiences in applications and games. With features for realistic sound environments, customizable audio processing capabilities, intuitive programming interfaces, multi-channel output support, and platform versatility, OpenAL remains a preferred choice for creating dynamic soundscapes and interactive audio elements in software development projects.


OpenAL is a Shareware software in the category Games & Entertainment developed by Creative Labs.

It was checked for updates 12,472 times by the users of our client application UpdateStar during the last month.

The latest version of OpenAL is, released on 07/28/2017. It was initially added to our database on 10/30/2007. The most prevalent version is, which is used by 81 % of all installations.

OpenAL runs on the following operating systems: Windows. The download file has a size of 0.8MB.

Users of OpenAL gave it a rating of 3 out of 5 stars.


  • OpenAL is an open-source cross-platform 3D audio API, which makes it widely accessible for developers working on different platforms.
  • It provides a flexible and powerful toolset for developers to implement spatial audio, environmental effects, and other advanced audio features in their applications.
  • OpenAL is commonly used in gaming and VR applications to create immersive soundscapes and realistic audio experiences for users.
  • It supports various audio formats and can work with different hardware configurations, enhancing its versatility and compatibility.


  • The development of OpenAL has been discontinued by Creative Labs, limiting the potential for future updates and support from the original creators.
  • Compared to newer audio APIs like Vulkan or DirectSound, OpenAL may lack some modern features and optimizations due to its outdated status.
  • Some users and developers have reported compatibility issues with certain hardware setups or operating systems when using OpenAL, which can lead to troubleshooting challenges.


What is OpenAL?

OpenAL is a cross-platform 3D audio API designed for use in games and other interactive media. It provides a simple interface for playing and positioning sounds in 3D space.

Who developed OpenAL?

OpenAL was developed by Creative Labs, the same company that created the popular SoundBlaster sound card. It has since been adopted as an open standard by other companies as well.

What platforms does OpenAL support?

OpenAL supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Android, and iOS, as well as some other less common platforms.

What programming languages can OpenAL be used with?

OpenAL can be used with a variety of programming languages, including C, C++, Java, Python, and more.

Is OpenAL free?

Yes, OpenAL is distributed under the LGPL (Lesser General Public License), which means it is free to use and distribute.

What are some examples of games that use OpenAL?

Examples of games that use OpenAL include Minecraft, Portal 2, Starcraft II, and many others.

Does OpenAL support surround sound?

Yes, OpenAL supports 5.1, 6.1, and 7.1 surround sound setups.

Can OpenAL be used for non-game applications?

Yes, OpenAL can be used for any application that requires 3D audio, such as virtual reality experiences and other interactive media.

What is the difference between OpenAL and other audio APIs?

OpenAL was specifically designed with game developers in mind, and provides advanced features like 3D positioning and spatialization of sounds that are not available in other audio APIs like DirectSound and CoreAudio.

Boris Weber

Boris Weber

I am an editor at UpdateStar. I started as a support engineer, and am now specialized in writing about general software topics from a usability and performance angle among others. I telecommute from UpdateStar’s Berlin office, when I am not working remote as a digital nomad for UpdateStar. When I'm not analyzing the latest software updates, you can find me exploring new cities, immersing myself in local cultures, and discovering innovative tech trends across the globe.

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