The Realiser provides a method of measuring and storing the individual HRTF of each listener's unique ears, head, and torso.
This measurement is easy, quick, need be done only once, and can be performed by your dealer.
The difference between hearing one's own HRTF and the generalised one can be tremendous -- often larger than the difference between a typical virtualiser and plain stereo.
In the real world, the direction of a sound remains stationary as we move our heads -- in fact, we deliberately move our heads to discern the stationary direction more finely. With headphones, the sounds move with our heads.
This is highly unnatural and a prime cue that we are listening to headphones, not the real world.
For sound with picture, the fact that sounds move with the head while the screen remains fixed destroys the credibility of the experience and greatly weakens the association of picture and sound.
The Realiser system includes a small device atop the headphone headband and another small device at the front of the room, which together monitor the position of the listener's head every five milliseconds.
As the head moves, and no matter how rapidly it moves, the Realiser recalculates all the HRTF factors, seamlessly and in real time, maintaining accurate localisation with respect to the screen and room.
The importance of this to the perceived reality of the experience cannot be overstated. The sense of wearing headphones disappears.
The Realiser package includes a pair of tiny microphones, inserted into earplugs, which are placed in the listener's ears for measurement. (Additional plugs are provided in each of three sizes, and they are washable.)
The listener sits at the listening position, within the array of speakers, typically 5.1 or 7.1, but any configuration including height channels can be accommodated. A brief set of test signals is played through the speakers, introduced by very simple spoken instructions.
Then the listener puts on the headphones, and a second brief set of measurements is taken.
The whole procedure takes less than five minutes.
In the measurement with the speakers, the Realiser captures not only the personal HRTF of the listener, but completely characterises the room, the speakers, and the electronics driving the speakers.
In the measurement with the headphones, the system gathers data to correct for the interaction of the headphones and the ears, and the response of the headphone itself.The composite data is stored in memory, and can also be written to a memory card for archiving and portability.
The package contains an accelerometer which allows the loudspeakers to play when the headphones are not worn, and which silences the speakers and switches on the headphones when they are placed on the head.
This allows an immediate comparison between the sound system in the room and the headphone emulation. This is the most demanding possible test and will reveal the smallest discrepancy.
The first-time listener's typical reaction is that the speakers are always playing. (No, it's the headphones.)
LISTENERS AND ROOMS
With ample internal memory supplemented by memory cards, there is no limit to the number of listeners and environments whose characteristics can be captured.
As noted before, the headphone measurement corrects for headphone response, suggesting that any brand and model of headphone can be used.
Indeed, any model will be corrected as much as possible, but the inherent quality of the headphones is a limiting factor.
Headphones are capable of respectable low frequency response, but cannot provide the full-body physical impact that woofers and subwoofers afford.
Therefore the Realiser provides a pair of outputs to drive tactile transducers such as a shaker motor coupled to the listener's chair.
The result is quite satisfying, and fun. Flexible bass management controls are provided to derive the tactile outputs (which can also be used to drive subwoofers).
2U RACK MOUNTABLE VERSION
Stereo line in
Ethernet (for web control)
S/PDIF optical /coax in
S/PDIF optical /coax out (Headphone A and B)
9-16v 3A DC
16ch analogue I/O
Headphone A & B Out
All legacy Dolby and DTS formats