Room reverberation changes perception in a signal-dependent way. A reverberation masking index (RMI), which relates to room size and listening location, represents the way in which reverberation decay produces perceptual smearing and masking. These influences are time varying and signal dependent rather than a signal-independent description of room acoustics. Informal listening tests show a direct relationship between the RMI and subjective experience. The index also provides guidance for preprocessing the audio signal for a particular acoustic environment.
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