Sound zone systems aim to control sound fields in such a way that multiple listeners can enjoy different audio programs within the same room with minimal acoustic interference. Often, there is a trade-off between the acoustic contrast achieved between the zones and the fidelity of the reproduced audio program in the target zone. A listening test was conducted to obtain subjective measures of distraction, target quality, and overall quality of listening experience for ecologically valid programs within a sound zoning system. Sound zones were reproduced using acoustic contrast control, planarity control, and pressure matching applied to a circular loudspeaker array. The highest mean overall quality was a compromise between distraction and target quality. The results showed that the term “distraction” produced good agreement among listeners, and that listener ratings made using this term were a good measure of the perceived effect of the interferer.
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