York, UK (December 27, 2013)—Researchers at the University of York in England are using a listening lab outfitted with D5 studio reference monitors from San Diego, CA-based Equator Audio to improve spatial sound quality in the home.
“The Interactive Media Lab at the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television is where we conduct our research,” explained Gavin Kearney, a spatial audio expert who is driving the research at the university. “There is a trend in the cinema industry to significantly increase the number of loudspeakers in theatres for an enhanced spatial audio experience. We’re looking to give viewers in the home the same sonic experience they would have in the cinema, but using a limited number of transducers located in the living room, preferably at the TV.”
“In order to do this,” he continued, “we need to develop signal processing that models how real-world sources (and loudspeaker systems) impart their soundfields onto a listener’s ears. So our work requires lots of soundfield measurement, algorithmic development, and perceptual listening tests. For this purpose, we need accurate and focused loudspeakers we can control. That’s where the Equator D5’s come in.”
The research setup involves placing the D5s on a sphere in three layers. There are eight D5 loudspeakers at ear height, arranged in an octagon—with four above and four below, forming a cube within the sphere. This setup enables Kearney and his associates to spatially reproduce soundfields at 16 points around the listener. There are plans to extend this setup to 32- and 64-loudspeaker configurations.