Modern audio codecs are used all over the world, reaching listeners with many different cultures and languages. This study investigates if and how cultural background influences the perception and preference of different audio coding artifacts, focusing on musical content. A subjective listening test was designed to directly compare different types of audio coding and was performed with Mandarin Chinese and German speaking listeners. Overall comparison showed largely consistent results, affirming the validity of the proposed test method. Differential comparison indicates preferences for certain artifacts in different listener groups, e.g., Chinese listeners tended to grade tonality mismatch higher and pre-echoes worse compared to German listeners, and musicians preferred bandwidth limitation over tonality mismatch when compared to non-musicians.
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