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5.1 Binaural

The expression “binaural technology” covers various methods of sound recording, synthesis and reproduction which can render 3D spatial audio content over headphones. For instance, binaural field recordings can be made by placing miniature microphones in the ear canals of a listener or of a dummy head (aka ‘ Kemar ‘) and when played back over headphones such recordings can produce an authentic immersive auditory experience with enhanced spatial aspects. Recent advances in signal processing technology has made it possible to synthesise binaural signals without the need of microphones.

Using binaural synthesis, a sound can be arbitrarily positioned around a listener synthesising the sensory experience of extended spatialisation. Like some other two channel formats such as Mid-Side Stereo, binaurally encoded audio recordings are not compatible with stereo speakers. If a binaural encoded audio file is played on a normal stereo setup, audio will be heard, but it won’t sound good.

!> It is important to point out to a client who might be new to binaural monitoring, that binaural files should only be listened to on a good pair of headphones.