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Binaural Resynthesis for Comparative Studies of Acoustical Environments

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A framework for comparative studies of binaurally resynthesized acoustical environments is presented. It consists of a software-controlled, automated head and torso simulator with multiple degrees of freedom, an integrated measurement device for the acquisition of binaural impulse responses in high spatial resolution, a head-tracked realtime convolution software capable to render multiple acoustic scenes at a time, and a user interface to conduct listening tests according to different test designs. Methods to optimize the measurement process are discussed, as well as different approaches to datareduction. Results of a perceptive evaluation of the system are shown, where acoustical reality and binaural resynthesis of an acoustic scene were confronted in direct A/B comparison. The framework permits, for the first time, to study the perception of a listener instantaneously relocated to different binaurally rendered acoustical scenes.

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