- Windows 7 – 10 / 32 & 64 Bit
- Mac OSX Lion 10.7.3 – High Sierra 10.13.x
HPEX – Headphone Experience/Externalization Transcoding and Playback
64Bit High Precision Audio Engine
Input Audio Formats: WAV, AIFF, FLAC, ALAC, DSD and MP3
Output Audio Formats: WAV, AIFF and FLAC
Sample Rates: 44.1 kHz – 384kHz
Bit Depth: 16, 24 & 32Bit
Metadata (album, cover picture, etc.) transfer for AIFF to AIFF and FLAC to FLAC conversion
Batch processing with freely configurable output file names
The test version is limited to one minute playback and transcoding per audio file
The activation key allows three parallel activations on Windows and/or MacOS X
The HPEX can be fully tested before purchase. Only the playback and analysis is limited to 30 seconds.
The activation allows 3 parallel installations. In fact, it is possible to use the Windows and MacOS X Version in parallel by just using one activation key.
WHAT IS HPEX AND WHY SHOULD I CARE?
Headphones have the potential to provide extremely high quality and immersive music reproduction, even on the go. Unfortunately, there is one major drawback which is called “In Head Localization”. Listening to a piece of music via headphones creates the effect of having all the instruments within the head. It gets even worse if the Audio Engineer pans dedicated instruments far to the left or right creating effects tolerable for loudspeaker listening but quite disturbing on headphones.
There are quite some hardware and software solutions on the market, claiming to reduce the “In Head Localization” by applying different algorithms and especially dedicated “Head Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs)”.
Unfortunately, these solutions have further disadvantages by introducing tonal coloration, strong room reverberations or ambiguous sound location. Most of those products are focused on movie or gaming sound, neglecting the transparent reproduction demands of a classical HiFi setup where a minimum of tonal changes is crucial.
HPEX has been developed with the HiFi –Enthusiast in mind. One of the main goals is the preservation of the timbre with a minimum of tonal changes by achieving a maximum reduction of “In Head Localization” and therefore “Headphone Listening Fatigue”.
WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF HPEX?
HPEX does not use “Head Related Transfer Functions” because those introduce tonal changes and if the modeled HRTF differs from your own defined by head size and especially the pinna then the localization of sound sources can be really off. That can go as far as you locate an instrument behind your head even if it is in front of you.
The best solution would be the measurement of the listeners HRTF. That approach could lead to nearly perfect binaural listening. Well, unfortunately it is quite difficult and cumbersome to measure individual HRTFs therefore, that approach needs to be dismissed for time being.
HPEX simulates the listening through HiFi speakers by introducing the acoustic effects of speakers within a listening room. The key effects are cross talk as well as small reverberations and early reflections.
The algorithm we use moves the sound stage from between the ears to a more comfortable forward position with a much wider sound field. Those subtle changes assure that HPEX transformed music reduces the effect of Headphone Listening Fatigue by a great deal and makes headphone listening a real pleasurable and immersive experience.
HPEX works in a very subtle way to enhance the headphone listening of HiFi stereo recordings. It does not provide the heavy effects of 3D around the head sound stages with all their disadvantages.
Which records sound best?
A great record makes the difference in standard stereo reproduction but also for HPEX. Spatially rich recordings that contain binaural cues with Interaural Time Differences (ITD) are really a pleasure but also records limited to Interaural Level Differences (ILD) are reproduced with a much wider and more precise sound stage.
WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO LISTEN TO HPEX AND HOW DOES IT WORK?
Just load your music into the HPEX playlist and use the internal audio player to find the right settings. Finally, you are able to transcode the records you want to use for headphone listening. This approach makes it possible to use any audio player (mobile or stationary) to playback the headphone optimized records.
HPEX supports several audio formats with all conceivable sample rates and bit resolutions.
There are two settings to optimize the sound stage. We believe that the default setting works for nearly all recordings:
Stage DepthAllows the setting of the externalization strength.
Stage WidthSets the width of the virtual sound stage.
WHAT IS BEHIND THE SIMULATION OF BINAURAL LISTENING?
We humans locate sound within the 0° elevation plane by time and intensity differences of the sound waves reaching our ears. But how do we locate a sound coming from above? To be able to identify sound sources above or below the plane our hearing uses changes within the frequency response caused by the “Head Related Transfer Function ”.
As described above, everybody has a different HRTF. Especially the pinna as the most important element of the HRTF is quite different between individuals.
Most Binaural simulations use HRTFs of dummy heads like the KEMAR or an average of several individual HRTFs measured within anechoic chambers. It is obvious that solutions based on HRTFs alone can never be perfect but they are already quite good in areas like gaming or movie sound reproduction where a sensational but not precise soundstage is important.
HPEX employs algorithms that are very gentle to the timbre of the record to create subtle changes within the sound field, reproducing a wide and deep sound stage.