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Virtualized Listening Tests for Loudspeakers

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The precise location of a loudspeaker in a listening room is known to affect loudspeaker preference ratings. When multiple loudspeakers are compared the evaluation is limited by the poor human auditory memory. To overcome these problems, a method to evaluate and compare loudspeakers using headphones is proposed. The method utilizes personal head-related transfer functions in rendering the sound field recorded in a standard listening room with an artificial head. Equalization of circumaural headphones and the artificial head are investigated. Formal listening tests are conducted to examine differences between the proposed binaural method and real loudspeakers in a standard listening room. Listening tests show that the virtualized loudspeakers can be nearly imperceptible from reality in many but not in all cases.

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