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Discrimination of Group Delay in Clicklike Signals Presented via Headphones and Loudspeakers

Thresholds were measured for the discrimination of a click reference stimulus from a similar stimulus with a group delay in a specific frequency region, introduced using an all-pass filter. For headphone presentation the thresholds were about 1.6 ms, were independent of the center frequency of the delayed region (1, 2, or 4 kHz), and did not differ significantly for monaural and binaural listening. For presentation via loudspeakers in a low-reverberation room the thresholds were only slightly higher than with headphones and did not differ significantly for distributed-mode loudspeakers (DMLs) and cone loudspeakers. For presentation via the same loudspeakers in a reverberant room the thresholds were larger than the corresponding thresholds measured in the low-reverberation room, and this effect increased with decreasing center frequency for both loudspeaker types. For monaural listening the thresholds for discriminating group delay were significantly larger for the DML than for the cone loudspeaker, probably due to the higher ratio of reverberant-to-direct sound for the former, associated with its lower directivity. However, for binaural listening the difference between DML and cone loudspeakers became nonsignificant.

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JAES Volume 53 Issue 7/8 pp. 593-611; July 2005
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