To date no experimental data have been presented on the optimum microphone array configuration for new surround formats employing height channels. A series of subjective listening tests were conducted to investigate how the spacing between base and height microphones affects perceived spatial impression and overall preference. Four different spacings of 0, 0.5, 1, and 1.5 m were compared for various sound sources using a 9-channel loudspeaker setup. For sources with more continuous temporal characteristics, the spacing between the layers did not have any significant effect on spatial impression, whereas for more transient sources the 0 m layer appeared to produce a greater spatial impression than more spaced layers. Furthermore, the 0 m layer was more or similarly preferred to the spaced layers depending on source type.
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