I'm obsessed with getting externalized sounds out of headphones.  It turns out this is darn near impossible.  Using head-related transfer functions to filter the sound and emulate a "transaural" (loudspeaker) source is only the tip of the iceberg...  Read more at binaural audio remixing.

I spent the afternoon yesterday trying to reproduce the soundfield created by the speakers in my room over my headphones. The most direct way to do this, I figured, was to use my open-air headphones to pick up the sound as if they were a pair of (not very sensitive) microphones. I plugged my headphones into the microphone jack, put them on as if I was listening (except I flipped the earcups so that the transducers were facing out), and recorded as I played really really loud music out of my speakers. I cleaned up the audio and switched my headphones from the microphone jack to the headphone jack and played it back. The result was at least as good as binaural room impulse response convolution, but still didn't convince me that the sound source was outside of my head.

More to come.

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