Using the highly reliable subjective ratings from an earlier study, loudspeaker measurements have been examined for systematic relationships to listener preferences. The resuls has been a logical and orderly organization of measurements that can be used to anticipate listener opinion. With the restriction to listeners with near-normal hearing and loudspeakers of the conventional forward-facing configuration, the data offer convincing proof that a reliable ranking of loudspeaker sound quality can be achieved with specific combinations of high-resolution free-field amplitude-response data. Using such data obtained at several orientations it is possible to estimate loudspeaker performance in the listening room. Listening-room and sound-power measurements alone appear to be susceptible to error in that while truly poor loudspeakers can generally be identified, excellence may not be recognized. High-quality stereo reproduction is compatible with those loudspeakers yielding high sound quality; however, there appears to be an inherent trade-off between the illusions of specific image localization and the sense of spatial involvement.
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