A Systematic Review of the Most Appropriate Methods of Achieving Spatially Enhanced Audio for Headphone Use

The purpose of the dissertation is to identify an appropriate method of improving spatial awareness of audio for headphone users. Spatial cues experienced in everyday life are often lost when using headphones. Focus is made on users consuming audio content on portable media devices such as
phones and tablets.

A systematic review of existing consumer products was conducted, as well as
an investigation of current research projects in spatial audio. Several key elements thought to be the most crucial in achieving improved spatial awareness for audio were isolated early in the research. These key subject
areas were explored through interview with current researchers into the areas of spatial audio and psychoacoustics.

The research found issues surrounding the use of pre-user implemented
HRTF data, the issues involved with externalisation being realised over headphones, and the limitations of using binaural recording techniques.

Several elements and challenges involved with spatial audio are discussed.
The research concludes with suggested areas of further research into spatially enhanced audio to allow the research to act as a knowledge base for continuing study.

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