Advances in mobile computing power, coupled with the affordability of new mobile technology has enabled more people than ever before to consume audiovisual media using smartphones and tablet computers. Mobile devices are now major entertainment platforms in their own right, providing unbounded access to film and music releases, and millions of applications for those with internet connectivity.
Headphones are widely used for consuming audiovisual media on mobile devices and are often preferred to built-in speakers because they provide superior sound quality and isolation from the surrounding environment. Coinciding with the rise in use and popularity of mobile devices and headphones for AV media consumption, commercial interest in 3D binaural audio has also increased. Creators of games, radio, music, and film are looking to binaural audio as a method of enhancing consumer envelopment and engagement.
Past research has provided evidence of binaural audio providing realistic three-dimensional listening experiences through accurate reproduction of natural spatial listening cues. In comparison, headphone reproduction of conventional stereo is known to sound as if audio events occur inside the head, rather than externally. In reality however, are the benefits really that significant, and is there really enough demand for a supposed improvement to stereo that only works on headphones?
Over the next few weeks, I will be posting a series of blog entries with the aim of researching binaural audio a little further. Hopefully some pretty interesting stuff will be revealed!