student profile: Mr Arun Sebastian


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Thesis work

Thesis title: Individualisation for 3D Audio over Headphones: A Psychoacoustic Investigation.

Supervisors: Alistair MCEWAN , Craig JIN

Thesis abstract:

3D audio reproduction over headphones is becoming increasingly important for scientific, commercial, and entertainment systems. It can greatly enhance auditory interfaces to computers, improve the sense of presence for virtual reality simulations, and add excitement to computer games.Typically, current headphone technology does not offer quality 3D sound. In most cases the sound that is produced over head phones seems to originate from the centre of the head and does not contain any spatial cues.

3D audio reproduction is a highly idiosyncratic process and the crux to synthesizing high-fidelity 3D audio depend on the individualised relationship between human outer ears and their acoustic properties, which is mathematically described as the head related transfer function (HRTF). The HRTF changes as a function of azimuth and elevation of the sound source and thus provide cues for the human auditory system to determine the source direction. When the synthesized binaural audio is not individualized, a highly distorted 3D audio image is perceived and will appear smeared and non-natural. Therefore an important impetus for the present research is for the production of high quality virtual auditory space (VAS) which is not possible without individualized HRTFs.

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