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On the Perceptual Advantage of Stereo Subwoofer Systems in Live Sound Reinforcement

Recent research into low-frequency sound-source localization confirms the lowest localizable frequency is a function of room dimensions, source/listener location, and reverberant characteristics of the space. Larger spaces therefore facilitate accurate low-frequency localization and should gain benefit from broadband multichannel live-sound reproduction compared to the current trend of deriving an auxiliary mono signal for the subwoofers. This study explores whether the monophonic approach is a significant limit to perceptual quality and if stereo subwoofer systems can create a superior soundscape. The investigation combines binaural measurements and a series of listening tests to compare mono and stereo subwoofer systems when used within a typical left/right configuration.

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