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The Challenge to Find the Optimum Radiation Pattern and Placement of Stereo Loudspeakers in a Room for the Creation of Phantom Sources and Simultaneous Masking of Real Sources

Stereo sound reproduction relies upon the creation of an illusion. Ideally the two loudspeakers and the room disappear, leaving only a phantom acoustic scene to be listened to. The polar frequency response of a loudspeaker determines the angular distribution of room reflections and their spectral content. The placement of the loudspeakers relative to the room surfaces determines the initial delay of the reflections. Together they affect the formation of phantom sources. A proven loudspeaker and room configuration is proposed as starting point for listening tests to determine the optimum loudspeaker radiation pattern. It is an invitation to extend our understanding of the psycho-acoustic processes that are involved with stereo listening in a room and to replace anecdotal with scientific evidence.

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