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Binaural Record/Reproduction Systems and Their Use in Psychoacoustic Investigations

Subjective evaluation of sound reproduction systems and devices are normally conducted in real time, with listeners exposed directly to the test sounds. However, in research situations, it is sometimes impossible to control the necessary variables in real time, or to maintain the necessary blinds if those variables include visible modifications. A binaural (dummy head) recording system has the potential of capturing and storing an entire listening experience, and reproducing it for comparison with others at any later time. There are several technical and perceptual difficulties with such a system but, with care, and some significant reservations, such a system can provide useful data. This paper reviews the present situation, describes the technical performance and results of subjective evaluations using one particular configuration of binaural system.

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