Do Listeners Agree on What Makes a Headphone Sound Good?
The popularity of headphones has now exploded to produce annual worldwide sales of almost $10 billion. Premium headphones ($100+) now account for 90% of the annual revenue growth, as consumers’ audio experiences are becoming a primarily mobile one. Market research indicates sound quality is a driving factor in headphone purchases with brand and fashion also being important factors among younger consumers. Yet, ironically the science behind what makes a headphone sound good and how to measure it is poorly understood. This combined with the lack of perceptually meaningful headphone standards may explain why purchasing a headphone today is like playing Russian Roulette with your ears. The magic bullet to achieving more consistent headphone sound quality is science. (more…)
The U of M Student Section of AES is hosting Benj Kanters of Hear Tomorrow to speak on noise and music-induced hearing loss. This workshop is a two-hour presentation, including images and animations reflecting the latest in hearing research. The workshop will discuss hearing physiology, hearing loss, and hearing conservation including discussion about technologies such as the latest developments in high-fidelity ear plugs and concert in-ear monitoring systems.
Dr. John Middlebrooks, Director, Central Systems Laboratory, Kresge Hearing Research Institute leads a guided tour of the Kresge Hearing Research Institute Central Systems Laboratory.
The Central Systems Laboratory conducts research examining the brain mechanisms of hearing, particularly issues related to stimulus coding in the auditory cortex. Some of its current projects center around spatial hearing and auditory prosthesis, including extensive research in cochlear implants. The Laboratory facilities consist of a double-walled anechoic chamber used for human psychophysical studies, a second chamber for animal physiological studies of spatial hearing experiments, and a double-walled chamber used for cochlear implant studies.
Dr. Lidia Lee is an Associate professor at Eastern Michigan University. She is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at Eastern Michigan University where she is involved in teaching and research. In addition to her academic duties Dr. Lee is also a clinical audiologist in the Speech and Hearing Clinic. Having accumulated experience in hearing aid fitting, evaluation, and research of over 15 years, she has tested many college students who failed a hearing screening and who were told about their hearing loss for the first time. Dr. Lee is a strong advocate for hearing conservation and has given lectures on hearing conservation to the community, the AES Detroit chapter and to many Ypsilanti Elementary first graders in the last four semesters – “preaching” about hearing conservation.
Besides teaching graduate and undergraduate courses in Audiology, her research interests are in the areas of psycho-acoustics and sound quality. Dr. Lee has done extensive research into issues of sound quality for hearing aids and audio systems.
Dr. Lee earned her doctorate degree at Indiana University – Bloomington, and her master degree at Purdue University – West Lafayette in Audiology, with an undergraduate background in Experimental Psychology.