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Psychoacoustic Cues in Room Size Perception

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The ability of human listeners to estimate the size of a room from the acoustical response of that room is an interesting and not yet thoroughly examined phenomenon. This study uses simulated multi-channel room impulse responses convolved with speech signals as stimuli in listening tests to explore the perception of room size. The synthetic room impulse responses contained two adjustable parameters, and our goal was to study how these parameters affect the perceived size of this virtual room. Listening tests were conducted to test the effect of reverberation time and the direct to reverberant energy ratio (D/R ratio). Sound samples with different parameter settings were presented as stimuli in a paired comparison test procedure. The results reveal that reverberation time is unequivocally the most important parameter. It appears that D/R ratio is not used in room size perception.

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