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Exploiting Human Spatial Resolution in Surround Sound Decoder Design

This paper presents a technique whereby the localisation performance of surround sound decoders can be improved in directions in which human hearing is more sensitive to sound source location. Research into the Minimum Audible Angle is explored and incorporated into a fitness function based upon a psychoacoustic model. This fitness function is used to guide a heuristic search algorithm to design new Ambisonic decoders for a 5-speaker surround sound layout. The derived decoder is successful in matching the variation in localisation performance of the human listener with better performance to the front and rear and reduced performance to the sides. The effectiveness of the standard ITU 5-speaker layout versus a non-standard layout is also considered in this context.

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