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Center-Channel Processing in Virtual 3-D Audio Reproduction over Headphones or Loudspeakers

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Virtual 3-D audio processing systems for the spatial enhancement of recordings reproduced over headphones or frontal loudspeakers generally provide a less compelling effect on center-panned sound components. This paper examines this deficiency and presents virtual 3-D audio processing algorithm modifications that provide a compelling spatial enhancement effect over headphones or loudspeakers even for sound components localized in the center of the stereo image, ensure the preservation of the timbre and balance in the original recording, and produce a more stable “phantom center” image over loudspeakers. The proposed improvements are applicable, in particular, in laptop and TV set audio systems, mobile internet devices, and home theater “sound bar” loudspeakers.

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