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Evaluation of Five Commercial Stereo Enhancement 3D Audio Software Plug-ins

Objective and subjective measurements were conducted on five commercial software-based plug-ins intended to provide spatial enhancement of stereo reproduction at the computer workstation. Listeners rated the sound quality of each using several different scales such as preference, timbral balance, three different spatial attributes, audible distortion, in addition to giving comments. Regular stereo (no enhancement) was included as a hidden reference. The listening test results revealed clear winners and losers. Stereo was preferred over three of the five plug-ins tested. The subjective results tend to correlate with their measured frequency response.

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