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The Precedence Effect in Sound Localization (Tutorial Reprint)

Editor's Note: In March, 1972 (vol. 20, pp. 146-159) we reprinted the Helmut Haas paper, 'The Influence of a Single Echo on the Audibility of Speech,' in which the so-called Haas effect regarding the localization of sound is discussed, along with other effects of delayed sound energy, including intelligibility. The Haas effect was uncovered simultaneously in this country by the authors of the paper presented here. This paper appeared first in the July, 1949, issue (vol. LXII, pp. 315-336) of The American Journal of Psychology, leading many in North America to refer to the effect as the precedence effect, rather than the Haas effect. A thorough reading of both papers will indicate that they substantiate each other's conclusions although the experimental methods differ. Whatever name we give to the effect, it is applied daily in engineered sound systems whose designers wish them to operate subtly, and in stereophonic and multichannel recording and playback processes. As this paper contains useful information, and is not commonly available to audio engineers, particularly as background to present quadraphonic discussion, we feel very much the way we did about the Haas manuscript, so with permission, bring it to you.

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JAES Volume 21 Issue 10 pp. 817-826; December 1973
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