How to implement spatialized audio properly for VR?


I am trying to understand spatialized audio for VR and seem to be missing some fundamental concepts:

Take this example: There’s a car engine running in the scene, making an engine sound. The player is near the car, looking at it. With spatialized audio and in a screen based situation, the sound initially comes from the front speakers. Then the player turns away from the car, but without actually changing his position relative to the car, just looking away from it. The sound moves to the rear speakers. This makes sense for screen based situations in which I sit at the desk and play a game.

But in VR that behavior does not make sense. When I stand in the same initial position and look at the car, the sound should come from the front speakers as before, but when I turn on the spot to look away from the car, the sound should still come from the front speakers, because as I have turned around in the real world the speakers are now behind me and the sound should still come from those speakers. In other words, the sound should not move in relation to the camera orientation in VR, but only in relation to the relative locations of the car and the player, no matter where he looks.

Is this catered for in the engine? How do I set it up?

I guess the observed behavior makes sense for setups in which the VR headset has got built-in audio and the speakers are always in the same relative location to the real-world user (as is the case when sitting at the desk).

But I am using a room-based 5.1 speaker system, so I need the spatialization to work differently…