Many listening tests have been undertaken to estimate listeners' preferences for different multichannel recording techniques. Usually these tests focus on the sweet spot, the spatial area where the listener maintains optimal perception of virtual sound sources, thereby neglecting to consider off-center listening positions. The purpose of the present study is to determine how different microphone configurations affect the size of the sweet spot. A perceptual method is chosen in which listening impressions achieved by three different multichannel recording techniques for several off-center positions are compared with the listening impression at the sweet spot. Results of this listening experiment are presented and interpreted.
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