Article: Assessing localization accuracy in sound field synthesis

H Wierstorf, A Raake, S Spors, “Assessing localization accuracy in sound field synthesis,” The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 141, p. 1111-1119 (2017), 10.1121/1.4976061

It is published as open access (CC BY 4.0), so feel free to download the PDF version.

The following additional material is available as well:
Stimuli for the listening tests
Average and single results from the listening tests
Code to reproduce the figures

Sound field synthesis methods like Wave Field Synthesis (WFS) and Near-Field Compensated Higher Order Ambisonics synthesize a sound field in an extended area surrounded by loudspeakers. Because of the limited number of applicable loudspeakers the synthesized sound field includes artifacts. This paper investigates the influence of these artifacts on the accuracy with which a listener can localize a synthesized source. This was performed with listening tests using dynamic binaural synthesis to simulate different sound field synthesis methods and incorporated several listening positions. The results show that WFS is able to provide good localization accuracy in the whole listening area even for a low number of loudspeakers. For Near-Field Compensated Higher Order Ambisonics the achievable localization accuracy of the listener depends highly on the Ambisonics order and shows large localization deviations for low orders, where splitting of the perceived sound source was sometimes reported.

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