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Subjective Comparison of Single Channel versus Two Channel Subwoofer Reproduction

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Bass management has many advantages for surround sound listening, however there is still a question regarding audibility of two channel versus single channel bass reproduction. Many previous investigations have lacked rigor or been preliminary in nature. The study presented here includes strict control of nuisance variables and significance testing of results. A test is described wherein trained listeners compared four different subwoofer configurations in controlled listening tests, using a very sensitive triangle test, in a typical listening room. Methods of controlling nuisance variables are discussed. These include double blind testing, equalizing all responses flat below 120 Hz, and allowing pre-training for the listening test. Critical selection of audio test loops using low frequency decorrelation is discussed. Results are presented.

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