Designing Headphones to Satisfy Listeners’ Sound Quality Preferences

2 november, 2021 @ 15.00 - 16.30

Sean Olive is certainly a voice of authority when it comes to listener preferences. He has written over 50 published papers on the perception and measurement of audio and has won numerous awards for his lifetime of work with headphones and loudspeakers. Don’t miss this special opportunity to speak with Sean directly and learn more about how to satisfy your customers. 

Form: webinar

Date: 2 november 2021

Time: 15.00 – 16.30

Place: Online via Zoom

Price: free

Language: English

If you have questions about signing up, please contact Murielle De Smedt,

Participant profile:

  • Headphone manufacturers 
  • Acoustic engineers and tonmeisters who are designing and tuning the sound of these products 
  • Audiophiles & music fans 
  • This talk will be somewhat technical but Sean is an experienced speaker and the topic is still accessible for those who don’t work specifically in this area.


 A series of controlled listening tests have identified a preferred target response for around-ear (AE), on-ear (OE) and in-ear (IE) headphones that satisfy the majority (64%) of listeners. Two smaller segments of listeners prefer this target response with slightly more (15%) or less bass (21%).   Two statistical models have been developed that predict listeners’ sound quality preference ratings of a headphone based on how much its measured magnitude response deviates from these target responses.  My talk summarizes this research, and presents some new research related to how headphone measurements vary across different test fixtures including the B&K 5128. The goal is to be able to model and predict listeners’ preference ratings of a headphone using measurements from different test fixtures.  

Sean is a Senior Fellow, for the Intelligent Audio group at Harman International, a major manufacturer of audio products for consumer, professional and automotive spaces. His research focuses on improving quality of sound reproduction across all three spaces. Prior to 1993, he was a research scientist at the National Research Council of Canada where his research focused on the perception and measurement of loudspeakers, listening rooms, and microphones. Sean received a bachelor’s in music from the University of Toronto, and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Sound Recording from McGill University in Montreal. He has written over 50 research papers on the perception and measurement of audio for which he was awarded the Audio Engineering Society (AES) Fellowship Award in 1996, two Publication Awards (1990 and 1995) and best peer-reviewed paper award at AES 143rd. in 2017. In 2013 he was awarded the ALMA Titanium Driver Award for scientific contributions to the loudspeaker and headphone industry. In 2019, he received the Harman External Leadership Award. Sean is an AES past President. More info here. 


Når du deltager i dette event vil din tid blive anvendt som medfinansiering på Projektet Innovationskraft, som er finansieret af Danmarks Erhvervsfremmebestyrelse og Uddannelses- og Forskningsstyrelse
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