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Perception of Sound Image Elevation in Various Acoustic Environments

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To investigate the discrimination threshold of sound image elevation for a three-dimensional sound system, we conducted subjective evaluation experiments using a paired comparison method. Experiments on the discrimination of sound image elevation with loudspeakers were done in three chambers, each of which had different reverberation time. Experiments with a headphone system were also done, in which stimuli were recorded binaurally. The experiments showed that 1) when the loudspeakers were set laterally to the subject, the elevation of the perceived sound image increased linearly according to the elevation of the sound source, (2) when the loudspeakers were set in front of or behind the subject, the perceptual resolution deteriorated as the sound source ascended. The experiments also indicated that there is no relation between the room reverberation time and perceptual resolution, and that the deterioration of perceptual resolution is conspicuous in headphone listening.

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