Continuous advances in personal audio technology (e.g. headphones), led to efficient noise cancellation and allowed users to build and influence their personal acoustic environment. Despite the high adoption and ubiquitous character of the technology, we do not fully understand which particular factors influence and form usage patterns. As a step towards understanding the usage of personal audio technology, we conducted two focus groups (n=10) to investigate current headphone usage and users’ wishes regarding current and future personal audio technology. Based on this data, we derive a model for what we call personal soundscape curation. This model was assessed with the data of a crowdsourced survey on Amazon Mechanical Turk (n=194) on state of the art practices. Personal soundscape curation allows to describe usage strategies (curation, adaptation, renunciation) and break down influencing factors of context and environment as well as illustrate which consequences may arise from the users’ behavior.

The final version is available in the ACM Digital Library: 10.1145/3282894.3282897