Testing Equipment – Break down

The following equipment will be used in the completion of the subjects tests  to compare binaural with conventional stereo:

1 x Windows Laptop

This computer will run the test. Using Pro Tools 10, the video will be imported, as will finalised mixdowns of the binaural and and stereo mixes into the same session. Using the mute and solo buttons, subjects will be able to toggle between the different mixes as they watch the video.

This method will ensure that the test is fair through using the exact same visuals for each of the mixes. Subjects will be able to listen intently to try and decipher any noticable differenes between the two.

1 x VRM Box

The VRM box is a high quality audio interface. It has been chosen for this test for the following reasons:

  • Portability – This interface is very light and fits easily into the palm of your hand. It is USB-powered therefore removing excess hassle and bulk that comes along with having to accomodate an extra power supply.
  • Quality – The VRM box provides a great improvement when compared with the on-board sound of the laptop which will be running the test. With a dynamic range of 108 dBA and very low noise and distortion figures, VRM Box delivers the required sound quality for implementing the test without compromise.

1 x iPad

The video will be displayed on the screen of an iPad. The stimulus for this subjective test was a cultural observation which supposed that it is becoming more and more common for people to eatch films on their mobile devices using headphones to listen to the film soundtrack in order not to disturb other around them in such situations as commuting to work on public transport. For this reason it was decided that ensuring the video was displayed on an up-to-date mobile device was important in order to add relevance to the test but also to further ensure that the test is fair. An alternative would be to display the video on the laptop screen at a size comparable to a Tablet/Smart Phone, however the visual effect is not quite the same and the extra dimensions provided by the laptop screen, even though not being used, may affect subject responses.

I method of connecting the iPad as an extra to the laptop is currently being researched.

1 x AKG K240DF Headphones

These are the most suitable headphones I am able to have access to. Features which the K240DFs have in order to perform well for this subjectove test include:

  • Semi-Open Design – Combining the best of both Open and Closed designs. These AKGs provide good isolation from the outside world (reducing distraction from outside noise and also the chance of disturbing other people) whilst providing the natural, ‘airy’, sound quality which makes open back designs which are superior when it comes to accurate audio mixing and listening.
  • With their flat frequency response, these headphones provide an uncolored sound
  • Created to fulfill the international IRT specification, the K240 DF establishes a uniform quality standard free from environmental variables.
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