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Contextual Effects on Sound Quality Judgements: Part II — Multi-Stimulus vs. Single Stimulus Method

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In a previous pilot experiment (Part I), a single stimulus method was employed to evaluate contextual effects on sound quality judgements. In this investigation (Part II), a multi-stimulus comparison method was used to evaluate the potential influence of listening context on sound quality judgements. Audio quality was assessed, as before, in two differing audio environments: a left-hand drive vehicle and an ITU-R BS.1116-conformant listening room. Trained and untrained listeners compared and graded audio quality for four stimuli with degradations in the midfrequency range. No identified reference (anchor) was used in the listening test, providing the opportunity for the influence of the audio environment to be observed in the results. Contraction bias, which was caused by the single stimulus method, was not evident in the results of this second study. Additionally listeners were able to discriminate between differently degraded stimuli where this was not possible in the initial research. Some small contextual effects were observed, however biases resulting from the indirect context comparison make it difficult to draw substantial conclusions.

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