Building the new lab

As a part of the continued development of the Oticon Centre of Excellence for Hearing and Speech Sciences (CHeSS), the construction of new laboratories for audio-visual research as well as an extensive renovation of the existing facilities was carried out. The new world class facilities consist of four listening booths for psychoacoustic tests, two booths for physiologically measurement: Electroencephalographic (EEG) and otoacoustic emision (OAE), further two booths for communication experiments, a room for audiological screening and a new anechoic chamber housing the audio-visual immersion lab (AVIL). The new research centre has a special focus on cross-disciplinary basic research in the audiological disciplines. The different disciplines will investigate the codes of the human auditory system, and the results are expected to open up a deeper understanding of how speech and music are represented in the brain.

One of the new facilities the audio-visual Immersion lab (AVIL) is a virtual environment for hearing research. The main purpose of the AVIL is to create realististic sound (and later visual input) around a listener in order to investigate aspects of spatial hearing in complex, challenging environments, the so called Cocktail Party Problem. So far, the system consists of 64 loudspeakers arranged on a full sphere, four subwoofers, and a head-mounted display. The system enables a realistic reproduction of the acoustics of real rooms, and the playback of spatial audio recordings.

The loudspeaker-based setup allows head movements and the usage of hearing aids or cochlear implants(CI) during the measurements.The new lab will help us design and carry out experiments using sound scenes that are closer to reality, but are also repeatable and controlled. We expect that this will lead to a better understanding of human hearing in challenging environments, and may ultimately enable the development of better, “smarter” hearing aids.

The buildings ("The Black Diamonds") housing the new laboratories were designed by the architects Rørbæk og Møller with inspiration from acoustics; the pattern on the facades fades in and out like sound waves.The building has been nominated for the Architecture Award of Lyngby Taarbæk Municipality.

Hearing Systems researchers working during the installation of the audio visual immersion lab and the the listening booths.

In designing the laboratory, KEF LS50 speakers were employed for the central 64-point sphere.
Watch the video produced by KEF here

Watch another video of building the lab produced by Sonible who also took a crucial part of equipping the lab with amplifiers

Music: Avaruusmiehen lyhyt matka (Spaceman's Little Expedition) by Aleksi Eeben, licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.5.

Read more here:

Sophisticated sound laboratory provides new knowledge about hearing
Article in the Magazine Ingeniøren

Lab opening

Topping out ceremony for new laboratories

Collaboration strengthens hearing research

New audiological research centre