This study uses binaural technology for headphone monitoring in world music, jazz, and free improvisation recording sessions. We first conducted an online survey with 12 musicians to identify the challenges they face when performing in studio with wearable monitoring devices. Then, to investigate musicians’ perceived differences between binaural and stereo monitoring, we carried out three comparative tests followed by semi-directed focus groups. The survey analysis highlighted the main challenges of coping with an unusual performance situation and a lack of realism and sound quality of the auditory scene. Tests showed that binaural monitoring improved the perceived sound quality and realism, musicians’ comfort and pleasure, and encouraged better musical performances and more creativity in the studio.
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