This paper presents studies on perceptual aspects of spatial audio and their dependency on the playback format. The first study regards the perception of sound in the presence of a masker in stereo, 5.1, and 3-D. Psychoacoustic tests show that the detection threshold improves with the spread of the masker, which justifies the claim that individual elements of dense soundtracks are more audible when they are distributed in a wider panorama. The second study indicates that the perception of the reverberation level does not depend on the playback format. The joint interpretation of these results justifies the claim that in 3-D sound engineers can use higher levels of reverberation without compromising the intelligibility of the sound sources.
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