AES Headphone Technology Conference: Introduction
The Danes don't much need air conditioningthe average temperature in August is a mild 68Fso the classroom used some fans to circulate air. Unfortunately, there was a bit of a heat wave while we were there, and the temperature was over 80 degrees in the heat of the day, with over 90 percent humidity. I dare say the temperature in the room was over 90 degrees at times.
Normally, you'd think there would be a lot of head-bobbing and eye-drooping going onI did once or twicebut to tell you the truth I found most of the papers quite fascinating and my interest remained high. Picture, if you will, sitting in the proverbial pot as the heat gets turned up as you concentrated hard on scientific papers. Oh man, that first ice cold beer at the hotel in the evening was bliss.
The thing about the papers presented was each was a very dense nugget of information about a very particular point in one narrow niche or other regarding headphones. It might be how a handfull of statistical methods can be used to sort statistical results of subjective testing with varying degrees of error and accuracy, or it might be the study of susceptibility to radio interference with various grounding methods for headset cables. Not too many sweeping overviews here, just points of information scattered over a wide variety of fields.
I've lumped most most of the papers into five categories, and will be presenting a summary of the papers in each category in separate posts. They are:
- Spatial Audio - Papers that discuss various aspects of getting sound to appear to come from outside your head on headphones.
- Head Related Transfer Function - Papers that deal with acquiring, analyzing, and interpreting the meaning of HRTF data.
- Sensory Profiling - Papers dealing with the quantification of the subjective listening experience.
- Weird Science - Some of the papers are a bit hard to categorise and sometimes they didn't even have anything to do with headphones. I can't generalize here, but there's some cool/weird stuff in this lot.
- Papers of Interest for Enthusiasts - While there were lots of interesting papers, most were pretty far removed from anything useful for a hobbyist. A few, however, are quite relevant to enthusiasts and contain information that might actually be useful to know.
I think you'll find an interestin week of reading ahead. Enjoy!