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Two-speaker Surround Sound – The future?

spkr cloudAs some of you  may know, I went to grad school at Princeton. Professor Edgar Choueiri, one of the prof’s in my old department is an audiophile and doing very-cool research (funded mostly by Sony). He’s also partnered with David Chesky.

Anyway, he came over to my lab (AKA house) last week and set up his gear as a source to my system. Oh my, the sound was truly incredible – a 200-or-so degree soundfield with only two speakers – and no change in tone, transients, or level.

Then he did the same thing with my AKG 701 headphones. That was even better. in fact, if I had it I’d seldom tum on my power amps.

He later embedded the loudspeaker transform into a plugin (VST and AU) before he left. So I can still approximate the effect in my home.

There are caveats: (1) binaural recordings are required  to get the wrap-around effect; (2) the transform is valid for one speaker/room configuration only; and (3) the effect is only good for one listening position. But IME only the last constraint is hard & fast. Most well-recorded stereo recordings benefit as well. Demonstrably so. And I switched speakers and still prefer to keep the plugin active.prin

I also prefer the this technology’s sonic presentation to most “surround sound” that I have heard. It sounds more natural.

At some point, I may run a BAAS open house so that folks can hear this tech. It’d be tough given the narrow sweet spot though. In fact, the tighter the dispersion of the speakers, the better the effect. (Based on my recommendation, Edgar now uses electrostats from Sanders Sound as his references.)

- Bob

Saturday, July 27th, 2013 Audiophile, Bob, General, News

1 Comment to Two-speaker Surround Sound – The future?

  1. Bob,

    You lucky #@$&*$! What impeccable timing… just before getting your envy-inducing post, I finished reading a fascinating article about your prof Choueiri in the January 28, 2013 issue of the New Yorker! To read that he brought this technology into your home and demo’d it on your system is so very cool.

    I have been a big fan of binaural recordings for many years. I’ve enjoyed blowing away my friends when they skeptically put on my AKG 702s and I ask them to close their eyes and play The Chesky HD download of his “Sensational, Fantastic, and Simply Amazing Binaural Sound Show,” which is flat-out game-changing (and this coming from an Analog guy!).

    I’m always wondering why this hasn’t caught on yet… Yes, please do have an event around this technology, BAAS members who haven’t experienced high-end Binaural will be nothing short of mesmerized. Count me in!


  2. Alonski on July 27th, 2013