Evaluation of a Hear-through device

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In the transportable communication platforms available today, such as mobile phones, audio guides etc., earphones are frequently used. Earphones will to some degree block the ear-canals and dim the sounds from the listener’s surroundings. By mounting microphones on the outside of the earphones, and simultaneously record and playback the sound, the natural sound reception of the open ear can be recovered. If the sound pressure at both eardrums are correctly reproduced then the complete auditory experience is preserved. A device able of reproducing the sound has been developed and is referred to as the Hear-through device. Due to practical limitations, such as the size of the earphones and microphones, it is not possible to record the sound in the ideal position – typically the ear canal entrance. This misplacement of the microphone will introduce small deviations in the reproduced sound compared to the natural sound, especially in the higher frequencies along with other issues such as small delays due to the audio processing. How these deviations affect the listening experience remain to be explored. Here we introduce the Hear-through device and evaluate experimentally how the listening experience is affected by the Hear-through device with reference to a normal condition, and an occluded condition (with the ears blocked with earphones). The experiment involves groups of three subjects who are instructed to solve a task of building a LEGO tower in a joint effort. Each group is given the task three times, once wearing the Hear-through, once with the natural condition and once with the occluded condition. The subject’s rate each condition on the following attributes: The sound of their own voice, their ability to communicate, the sounds from the surroundings, and the overall sound experience. The results will be presented in the extended abstract.
BogserieCommunications in Computer and Information Science
Sider (fra-til)440-445
StatusUdgivet - 22 jun. 2014
BegivenhedHCI 2014 International: 16th International Conference on Human-Computer Interaction - Creta Maris, Heraklion, Crete, Grækenland
Varighed: 22 jun. 201427 jun. 2014
Konferencens nummer: 16


KonferenceHCI 2014 International
LokationCreta Maris
ByHeraklion, Crete

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