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Localization of Sound in a Room with Reflecting Walls

The ability of subjects to localize sounds in a typical living room with reflecting walls was tested for both direction and distance. A subject was seated in the center of two concentric circular arrays of eight loudspeakers, one with a 1-m and the other with a 2-m radius. Eleven different stimuli were used. These were white noise and sinusoids with different envelopes, a 100-µs pulse, and music. Results show that noise, pulses, and music can be localized very well. Simply gated sinusoids (abrupt on- and offset) are localized reasonably well, but sinusoids with a 1-second on- and offset are localized poorly. If the envelope of a sinusoid has one smooth and one abrupt transition, results are comparable with those of the simply gated sinusoid.

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