Earphones are nowadays widely adopted for the reproduction of audio material in mobile multimedia and communication platforms, e.g. smartphones. Reproduction of high-quality spatial sound on such platforms can dramatically improve their applicability, and since two channels are always available in earphone-based reproduction, binaural reproduction can be applied directly. This paper is concerned with the theoretical and practical aspects relevant to the correct reproduction of binaural signals over insert earphones. To this purpose, a theoretical model originally developed to explain the acoustic transmission to and within the open ear canal is revisited [Møller, Appl. Acoust., 36, 171-218 (1992)]. The model is modified accordingly in order to investigate the aspects of the transmission within the blocked ear canal that are significant to the calibration required to preserve the natural spatial cues that exist during normal hearing conditions, i.e. during an open-ear-canal situation. To evaluate the validity of the theoretical considerations outlined in this paper, measurements are conducted using an IEC711 occluded-ear simulator with a number of different types of insert earphones.
Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 2012, Vol 131, Issue 4, Pt. 2, p. 3255-3255