I often hear the term "Binaural" audio discussed in forums and in articles, but I'm not sure what it is. Can someone please provide a brief explanation?
Binaural audio is a type of stereo encoding that allows the creation of immersive spatial audio experiences for the listener.
Although binarual audio can be created directly through the application of dummy-head recording techniques, it can also be generated through the use of Head-Related-Transfer-Function processing techniques which use filtering and delays to model the acoustic effects of the human head.
Typical applications of HRTF processing involve the transcoding of Ambisonic audio directly to binaural format for use in gaming audio.
Although binaural audio can be auditioned using speakers, the immersive effect typical of binaural audio cannot be experienced unless the listener is auditioning the audio through headphones.
Binaural format audio differs from "coincident" or "Blumlein" format stereo in that it encodes a stereo sound-stage using time-of-arrival-difference information as opposed to level differences in the case of "Blumlein" encoding.
Binaural is designed for use exclusively with headphones whereas the best experience with Blumlein recordings is obtained when using speakers.