A novel loudspeaker-based room auralization (LoRA) system has been proposed to generate versatile and realistic virtual auditory environments (VAEs) for investigating human auditory perception. This system efficiently combines modern room acoustic models with loudspeaker auralization using either single loudspeaker or high-order Ambisonics (HOA) auralization. The LoRA signal processing of the direct sound and the early reflections was investigated by measuring the speech intelligibility enhancement by early reflections in diffuse background noise. Danish sentences were simulated in a classroom and the direct sound and each early reflection were either auralized with a single loudspeaker, HOA or first-order Ambisonics. Results indicated that (i) absolute intelligibility scores are significantly dependent on the reproduced technique and that (ii) early reflections reproduced with HOA provide a similar benefit on intelligibility as when reproduced with a single loudspeaker. It is concluded that speech intelligibility experiments can be carried out with the LoRA system either with the single loudspeaker or HOA technique.
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