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A Virtual Loudspeaker Model to Enable Real-Time Listening Tests in Examine the Audibility of High-Order Crossover Networks

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Higher-order notched networks more consistently retain a desired all-pass response of loudspeakers. However, their non-coincident drivers cause deep spectral notches to occur intermittently in the crossover region. Large phase shifts are also introduced in the loudspeaker's transfer response. To evaluate the sonic impact of the deep spectral nulls and phase shifts to the overall listening experience, we propose a real-time listening test that does not involve the design of real loudspeakers or modification of a loudspeaker's sound in a listening environment. A speaker-system simulation program has been developed using Matlab. The program processes wavfiles of music clips with a virtual loudspeaker model that covers real crossover networks, offset delays, any compensation network, and raw driver frequency response characteristics. The ABX double-blind testing methodology is applied to determine the audibility of the virtual loudspeaker model under test. This approach isolates audible effects and makes them more apparent to the listener, since other effects are eliminated that might mask the changes caused by the features under study. We expect that the software can serve as a generalized template to examine other phenomena.

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