If almost everything else can be emulated,

wouldn’t it be great if this could too?

How about a set of headphones, that by using a clever combination of circuitry and/or software could perfectly emulate the accurate mixing and mastering ability of a high quality pair of nearfield or midfield monitors. For people like me where noise level is a problem this would be a revelation. It seems to me it wouldn’t be that much of a problem for some computer/electroncs whiz to design something like this.

I thought about making this with some eq and convolution of a good room and such a while back. You’d really need to use a binaural mic and set it up in a good control room then run some convolutions. Afterwards you’d have to run a 32 or 64 band eq on the headphones to compensate for their frequency response.

All in all it’d be close, but there would be phase problems due to all the eq and the fact that we actually pick up a lot of spatial clues and phase differences by the shape of our ears. The binaural mic would capture those but they wouldn’t match the response of our ears and that could be a problem.

It’d still be better than many of our current setups I think.

There was some research on something like this a year or two back, I seem to recall (maybe it was Bose?). They found that there is a problem in that headphones of any kind apparently cause you to perceive the music as if it was inside your head, as opposed to around you. I think it was something to do with headphones negating the effect of your ear shell or something. They wound up with a system where the speakers were close to the listener’s head, maybe 15cm away in a nearfield configuration. There was a chinrest for the listener to make sure his head was in the opimal position.

basically the pina (think that’s the word) of our ears helps with spacial recognition. headphones bypass that and as a result a center panned sound sounds like it’s in the middle of your head rather than in front of your head. As mentioned before, with the articial ears on a “head” binaural mic you might be able to eliminate that, but it’ll sound funny because the mic’s ears aren’t shaped exactly like yours are and you’ll be used to your ears.

at least that’s what I got out of it by studying up to see if I could create such a system