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Assessment of Nonlinearity in Transducers and Sound Systems — From THD to Perceptual Models

Research of audibility of loudspeaker nonlinear distortion has not shown good correlation between traditionally used metrics (harmonics and intermodulation) and the subjective performance. The problem of sound fidelity-related methods to assess nonlinearity in transducers has not been solved. Wide application of low-bit rate compression systems (MP3, etc.) demanded the development of objective measurement methods based on perceptual models. These methods however have not been used for measurement of loudspeakers and they may not be optimal for that due to the different nature of nonlinearity in transducers. Recently perceptual models created specifically for the assessment of nonlinearity in transducers have emerged. In this work analysis of the old and new methods, their comparison, and the prospects for future developments are discussed.

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