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Sensitivity of Multichannel Room Equalization to Listener Position

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Traditionally, room response equalization is performed to improve sound quality at a given listener in applications ranging from automobile, home-theater, movie theater, multimedia education in classrooms. However, room responses vary with source and listener positions. Hence, in a multiple listener environment, equalization may be performed through spatial averaging of magnitude responses at locations of interest (e.g., in movie theater equalization). However, the performance of averaging based equalization, at the listeners, may be affected when listener positions change, or due to mismatch between microphone and listener positions (i.e., displacement effects). In this paper, we present a statistical approach to map displacement effects to a magnitude response averaging equalization performance metric. The results indicate that, for the analyzed listener configurations, the zone of equalization depends on, (i) distance of microphones/listeners from a source, (ii) the listener arrangement, and (iii) the source signal spectral composition. We have also provided an experimental validation of the theoretical results, thereby indicating the usefulness of the proposed closed form expression for measuring equalization performance due to displacement effects.

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