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Evaluation of Virtual Source Localization Using 3-D Loudspeaker Setups

This paper evaluates the localisation accuracy of different playback methods for 3D spatial sound using a subjective listening test. The playback methods are characterised by their panning functions which define the gain for each loudspeaker to play back a sound source positioned at a distinct pair of azimuth and elevation angles. The tested methods are Ambisonics decoding using the mode matching approach, vector base amplitude panning (VBAP) and a newly proposed 3D robust panning approach. For irregular 3D loudspeaker setups, as found in home environments, the mode matching shows poor localisation. The new 3D robust panning leads to a better localisation and can also outperform the VBAP technology dependent on the source position and the loudspeaker setup used.

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