This paper proposes “virtual hemispherical amplitude panning (VHAP),” which is an efficient 3D panning method exploiting the phantom image elevation effect. Research found that a phantom center image produced by two laterally placed loudspeakers would be localized above the listener. Based on this principle, VHAP attempts to position a phantom image over a virtual upper-hemisphere using just four ear-level loudspeakers placed at the listener’s left side, right side, front center, and back center. A constant-power amplitude panning law is applied among the four loudspeakers. A listening test was conducted to evaluate the localization performance of VHAP. Results indicate that the proposed method can enable one to locate a phantom image at various spherical coordinates in the upper hemisphere with some limitations in accuracy and resolution.
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