S3A: Future Spatial Audio for an Immersive Listener Experience at Home

S3A is a major five-year UK research collaboration between internationally leading experts in 3D audio and visual processing, the BBC and UK industry. Its goal is to enable listeners to experience the sense of "being there" at a live event, such as a concert or football match, from the comfort of their living room through delivery of immersive 3D sound to the home.

EPSRC Grant Ref: EP/L000539/1

Start date: 2013
End date: 2019

Further information about the project and its partners can be found at s3a-spatialaudio.org

The IoSR researchers contributing to this project are:

Research Fellow: Dr Jon Francombe
Research Fellow: Mike Cousins
Principal Supervisor: Dr Tim Brookes
Co-Supervisor: Dr Russell Mason
Co-Supervisor: Dr Philip Coleman

Project Outline (IoSR)

Recording engineers have often sought to reproduce the spatial properties of sound fields, and this has led to the development of a range of technologies. Two-channel stereo has been common for some time, but systems with a higher channel count (including rear and height loudspeakers) are also in use and, recently, there has been a move towards loudspeaker-agnostic methods using audio objects. Perceptual evaluation, perception-related measurement, and perceptually informed processing, can enhance the quality of new types of audio reproduction system and can enhance listener experience.

Our work has: ascertained which attributes of reproduced spatial audio are most important to listeners, modelled perceptual attributes in terms of their physical correlates, developed perceptual-model-based audio metering, developed perceptually optimised algorithms to enhance key attributes. Details can be found in the publications listed below.