This is the personal website of me, John Usher.

My area of expertise is in spatial audio signal processing and psychoacoustics for loudspeaker and earphone reproduction, an area I have been studying and working in for over 20 years.

I hold a B.Eng. degree in Electroacoustics from the University of Salford and a Ph.D. from McGill University, where I was supervised by Dr. W.L. Martens; Prof. W. Woszczyk; Dr. J. Benesty and Prof. A. Bregman.

My Ph.D. thesis was on the theoretical development and subjective evaluation of a new ambiance extraction upmixer: the system allows you to play stereo audio on a “surround sound” loudspeaker system.

The upmixer algorithm was further developed for multichannel cinema audio and is now part of Dolby Atmos (patent #8,335,330).

I’ve conducted research at the acoustics department of Bang and Olufsen, the DSP group at Philips Nat Lab, and have undertaken research residencies at the Banff Centre. I’ve also given talks at NASA Ames (Human System Integration Division), the University of Cambridge (Dept. Psychology), and Google X.

Since 2006 I have been audio system architect at Personics Labs (AKA Hearium), designing and leading the signal processing efforts on a new earphone for augmented reality, music listening and voice communications: it is (arguably) the worlds first smart consumer earphone.

I’m also working on a next-generation carbon fibre loudspeaker: