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Audibility of Loudspeaker Group-Delay Characteristics

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Loudspeaker impulse responses were studied using a paired-comparison listening test to learn about the audibility of the loudspeaker group-delay characteristics. Several modeled and six measured loudspeakers were included in this study. The impulse responses and their time-reversed versions were used in order to maximize the change in the temporal structure and group delay without affecting the magnitude spectrum, and the subjects were asked whether they could hear a difference. Additionally, the same impulse responses were compared after convolving them with a pink impulse, defined in this paper, which causes a low-frequency emphasis. The results give an idea of how much the group delay of a loudspeaker system can vary so that it is unlikely to cause audible effects in sound reproduction. Our results suggest that when the group delay in the frequency range from 300 Hz to 1 kHz is below 1.0 ms, it is inaudible. With low-frequency emphasis the group delay variations can be heard more easily.

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Permalink: http://www.aes.org/e-lib/browse.cfm?elib=19404

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