Designing Better Headphones - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 6 Old 09-10-2013, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Paul Barton, founder and chief designer for PSB Speakers, talks about his and others' research into human hearing and acoustics to support the effort to establish a "target function" that adds a consistent "room feel" to the sound of headphones. The goal is to simulate the sound of speakers in an acoustically optimized room, which is important because commercial recordings are mixed and mastered using speakers, and because the sound of different headphones varies so widely today. Other topics of discussion include head tracking, binaural recording, answers to chat-room questions, and more.


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post #2 of 6 Old 09-11-2013, 11:06 AM
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post #3 of 6 Old 09-11-2013, 01:12 PM
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Thanks for this Scott, and Paul. An hour well spent. Mr Barton started the session with an observation on how room reflections change the perceived frequency response of loudspeakers. I hope there will be a "part 2" where Mr Barton or another expert addresses time delay and room reflections in the world of IEM's and headphones. 


You might respond that headphones don't have these issues, but to me this is part of the listening experience. Perhaps when we all listen to music exclusively over IEMs and headphones, recording engineers will put some "ambiance" into the source material, but for now "roomfeel" as Mr Barton would trademark it, is more than subjective frequency response. 


As someone who prefers dipolar speakers, I may be in the minority in liking a "live room", but this is my biggest issue with headphones.

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post #4 of 6 Old 09-12-2013, 01:56 PM
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Good guest Scott, Paul Barton is a legend. I still have my original PSB golds and looking to putting a vintage 2 channel setup together with them.
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post #5 of 6 Old 09-12-2013, 08:02 PM
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Paul is a very knowledgeable and down to earth individual. I just met him about a month ago and talked for hours with him about his upcoming headphone and earphone designs. Can't wait to meeting him again tomorrow.
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post #6 of 6 Old 09-16-2013, 09:07 AM
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I gotta call out Mr. Barton here for saying nothing we don't already know in the interview. The only headphone measurement related info he gave is that he's measuring headphones using a method comparable to what Harman's doing, but he refuses to go into any details such as the target in room response used. In contrast, Harman has openly published full details, such as the exact target curves and results, data that Mr. Barton is well aware of. Sure, he has no obligation to reveal his secrets, but I still wish he would contribute back to the research community that he has benefited so much from.
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