One solution to realize spatial sound reproduction without a large number of distributed loudspeakers is to create virtual sources in the desired directions by using highly focusing real sources that project sound on reflective boundaries. Auditory events are then ideally located in the direction of the virtual sources created by sound projection rather than the direction of the real sources. However, due to physically limited focusing capabilities of real sources, the perception of the listener is also influenced by sound that is directly radiated from the real source and, therefore, arrives earlier at the position of the listener. This study showed how emerging precedence caused by the leading direct sound affected auditory perception in scenarios with lagging projected sound. The level range from which the direct sound caused first noticeable changes in auditory events until it finally dominated the localization was found to be approximately 20 dB. It was shown that localization dominance of the projected sound did not immediately occur after localization dominance of the direct sound vanished. However, localization dominance of the projected sound occurred even though the presence of the direct sound was still perceptible. The results indicate that the temporal structure of the direct sound plays an important perceptual role in scenarios with projected sound. Real playback signals with complex temporal structures causing impulsive loudness fluctuations were shown to be more favorable for the perceptual dominance of the leading direct sound. Such structures are therefore critical in terms of sound projection.
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