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Distance Control System for a Sound Image

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A new method of sound image distance control using multi-loudspeaker array is proposed. It is shown that a stable sound image can be localized between a listener and the multi-loudspeaker array. Distance control of sound images for stereoscopic TV can be realized effectively with this method. An experimental loudspeaker array has been constructed by use of about 200 loudspeakers and 20 delay lines. An audio signal is fed to the loudspeakers and appropriate delay times in order that each sound wave from the loudspeakers focuses at one point between a listener and the loudspeakers. This point perceptually works just like a real sound source. The results of subjective evaluation of distance perception show that a stable sound image is actually perceived near this point. The direction of the sound image is little affected by head motion of the listeners because the sound spreads from the synthesized sound source like a spherical wave. This method yields a stable sound image can be localized between a listener and the multi-loudspeaker array. Further, a visual stimulus such as a loudspeaker located near the sound image can strongly stabilize the subjective distance of sound.

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