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The Effects of Using Headphones and Speakers on Collaboration in an Audio-Only Workspace

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The means by which audio was delivered (headphones or loudspeakers) in a shared workplace environment influenced the dynamics of collaborations. In an experiment designed to show the influence of audio delivery, pairs of sighted individuals used audio as the sole means for communicating with one another while editing a shared diagram. The choice of working style affects how collaborators attend to the sounds present in a collaborative space, which in turn influences how they structure and organize their interactions. That in turn determines which information is relevant, dynamically changing according to how collaborators choose to work with sounds. Another conclusion was that the mere physical presence of audio in a shared space does not necessary imply that it is being attended to by those hearing it.

JAES Volume 60 Issue 7/8 pp. 540-550; July 2012
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