BBC R&D

Posted by Tony Churnside on , last updated

Following our binaural experiment using "Nine Lessons and Carols" at Christmas we are now inviting you to participate in a second experiment, this time using the radio drama "Private Peaceful"

Private Peaceful

To find out more and to take part please follow this link.

The video below provides a brief introduction to what binaural is and how it works, there are also some FAQs about binaural and surround sound here.

 

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What follows is a brief overview of the results of the binaural experiment we conducted over Christmas.

We used measurements of three peoples' heads in our listening room using the process described in the video above. Each person was measured with two different sets of headphones, hence the creation of 6 different versions of the service. These versions were made available from the BBC Radio 3 blog [link] over the Christmas period and listeners were invited to respond to a short survey about their listening experience.

About 200 people took part in the questionnaire. There was a mixture of ages, but majority of respondents were male. Most were people who care about sound quality, 21% having a 5.1 surround setup, and 43% willing to spend over £100 on a pair of headphones.

 

Like I was at the event.

It felt like I was at the event

As we expected there was no 'one size fits all' solution. However, the responses were very positive with most people saying their preferred version sounded spacious, clear or that sources were easily locatable. 60% of the respondents agreed that their preferred version of the service sounded like they were at the event, 87% agreed that their preferred version sounded spacious.

 

sound spacious

It sounded spacious

These results are illuminating but there is still much to learn. A number of respondents commented that the effectiveness of the binaural varied depending on where they were listening, or even whether their eyes were opened or closed. The radio drama experiment we are conducting is intended to explore some of these issues.