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On Some Biases Encountered in Modern Audio Quality Listening Tests-A Review

A careful evaluation of listening tests designed to measure audio quality shows that they are vulnerable to systematic errors, which include biases due to affective judgments, response mapping bias, and interface bias. As a result of factors such as personal preferences, the appearance of the equipment, and the listeners' expectations or mood, errors can range up to 40% with respect to the total range of the scale. As a general conclusion, test results should be considered relative, rather than absolute. Scales in previous studies, which have been assumed to be linear, may exhibit departure from linearity. The visual appearance of the user interface may lead to severe quantization of the distribution of scores. Recommendations are offered to improve audio quality tests.

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JAES Volume 56 Issue 6 pp. 427-451; June 2008
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