Join us to develop and evaluate audio rendering algorithms for the next generation of hearables.
“Hearables” – in-ear headphones with built-in microphones and signal processing capability – offer new opportunities to reproduce audio content in a way that adapts and responds to the listening context, e.g. background noise and personal preferences. The InHEAR project (Intelligent Hearables with Environment-Aware Rendering) will develop new algorithms to maximise the listener’s experience regardless of their listening context. The project is a collaboration between the University of Surrey, Bang & Olufsen and Aalborg University. You have a genuine opportunity to influence future generations of B&O products as well as to produce world-leading publishable and patentable research.
Your PhD is based in Institute of Sound Recording (IoSR) and focuses on the user experience, rendering and manipulation of sounds to the benefit of the end user. You will begin by building a test and development environment for object-based audio rendering for earphones, and will then design and execute a series of experiments to determine how best to manipulate the audio objects based on information about the listening context. Experience in programming for audio (e.g., C++, Python, Matlab) is essential, as is experience in perceptual test design and statistical analysis. Scientific contributions will be disseminated at appropriate international conferences and meetings with the scientific research community.
The IoSR is a leading centre for research in psychoacoustic engineering. Our work combines elements of acoustics, digital signal processing, psychoacoustics (theoretical and experimental), psychology, sound synthesis, software engineering, statistical analysis and user-interface design, with an understanding of the aesthetics of sound and music. Our world-class facilities include industry-specification sound-recording studios and edit suites, and an ITU-R BS.1116 standard critical listening room equipped with a 22.2-channel reproduction system, and the Surrey Sound Sphere supporting multichannel sound field capture and reproduction. You will work closely with another student based in the Centre for Vision, Speech and Signal Processing (CVSSP), and with colleagues in research and development at B&O.
You will have a strong interest in audio and demonstrate a high level of academic achievement in relevant subject areas and a clear aptitude for research. We will need to be happy that you have the necessary background subject knowledge and the necessary research skills to begin your doctoral training.
You will ideally have a Masters in a relevant discipline and will definitely have a 1st or 2:1 Bachelors degree (or equivalent). You will be able to demonstrate excellent mathematical, analytical and computer programming skills. Advantage will be given to applicants with evidence of experience in one or more of: mathematics, programming, acoustics, psychoacoustics, signal processing, statistical analysis. You will have excellent research skills evidenced by a significant Bachelors/Masters research project, involving experimental research, appropriate use of the literature and/or computer-based simulations, and a formal dissertation-style report.
How to apply
Applications should be made through the PhD course page: https://www.surrey.ac.uk/postgraduate/sound-recording-phd. Applications for April 2020 will be processed straight away in view of an earlier start if possible. If in doubt, please contact us. Please use your research statement to explain how your skills meet the person specification outlined above.
The studentship is for 42 months full-time study commencing between January—April 2020.
In addition to covering UK/EU tuition fees and a tax-free stipend of £15k/year, you will have access to a generous travel budget (to support attendance at academic conferences, for example) and support to undertake research at Bang & Olufsen’s headquarters in Denmark.