The properties of wavefield synthesis with regard to localization and sound color reproduction are analyzed by listening tests and compared with the properties of stereophony. A novel technique, optimized phantom source imaging (OPSI), designed to avoid spatial aliasing, is presented and analyzed in theory and practice. Both stereophonic phantom sources as well as OPSI sources were perceived to be less colored than was predicted by coloration predictors based on the spectral alterations of the ear signals. This leads to the hypothesis that a decoloration process exists for stereophonic reproduction, as proposed in the association model of Theile.
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