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Uses and misuses of psychophysical methods in the evaluation of spatial sound reproduction

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Whereas the primary motivation in spatial hearing research has been to gain greater understanding of the mechanisms of human spatial hearing, the motivation for applied research has been the verification and validation of various spatial audio rendering technologies under development. This paper outlines some of the uses of misuses of psychophysical methods typically employed in the subjective evaluation of spatial sound reproduction. The emphasis is upon the essential tension between engineering goals and scientific goals, which, while often conflicting, serve to focus psychophysical research upon resolving disputes between rival theories of how best to simulate spatial soundfields for a human listener.

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