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Improving the Assessment of Low Frequency Room Acoustics Using Descriptive Analysis

Several factors contribute to the perceived quality of reproduced low-frequency audio in small rooms. Listeners often use descriptive terms such as `boomy' or `resonant'. However a robust terminology for rating samples during listening tests does not currently exist. This paper reports on an procedure to develop such a set of subjective descriptors for low frequency reproduced sound, using descriptive analysis. The descriptors that resulted are Articulation, Resonance and Bass Content. These terms have been used in listening tests to measure the subjective effect of changing three objective room parameters: modal decay time, room volume and source/receiver position. Reducing decay time increased Articulation while increased preference is associated with increased Articulation and decreased Resonance.

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