Subtitles in virtual reality: Guidelines for the integration of subtitles in 360º content

Belén Agulló, Anna Matamala

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Immersive content has become a popular medium for storytelling. This type of content is typically accessed via a head-mounted visual display within which the viewer is located at the center of the action with the freedom to look around and explore the scene. The criteria for subtitle position for immersive media still need to be defined. Guiding mechanisms are necessary for circumstances in which the speakers are not visible and viewers, lacking an audio cue, require visual information to guide them through the virtual scene. The aim of this reception study is to compare different subtitling strategies: always-visible position to fixed-position and arrows to radar. To do this, feedback on preferences, immersion (using the ipq questionnaire) and head movements was gathered from 40 participants (20 hearing and 20 hard of hearing). Results show that always-visible subtitles with arrows are the preferred option. Always-visible and arrows achieved higher scores in the ipq questionnaire than fixed-position and radar. Head-movement patterns show that participants move more freely when the subtitles are always-visible than when they are in a fixed position, meaning that with always-visible subtitles the experience is more realistic, because the viewers do not feel constrained by the implementation of subtitles.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)643-661
Number of pages19
JournalIkala, revista de lenguaje y cultura
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 12 Sept 2020


  • 360° content
  • Hearing impairment
  • Immersive media
  • Subtitles
  • Subtitling strategies
  • Virtual reality


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