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Potential Biases in MUSHRA Listening Tests

The method described in the ITU-R BS.1534-1 standard, commonly known as MUSHRA (MUltiple Stimulus with Hidden Reference and Anchors), is widely used for the evaluation of systems exhibiting intermediate quality levels, in particular low-bit rate codecs. This paper demonstrates that this method, despite its popularity, is not immune to biases. In two different experiments designed to investigate potential biases in the MUSHRA test, systematic discrepancies in the results were observed with a magnitude up to 22%. The data indicates that these discrepancies could be attributed to the stimulus spacing and range equalizing biases.

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