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The Effect of Playback System on Reverberation Level Preference

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The critical role of reverberation in modern acoustic music production is undeniable. Unlike many other effects, reverberation’s spatial nature makes it extremely dependent upon the playback system over which it is experienced. While this characteristic of reverberation has been widely acknowledged among recording engineers for years, the increase in headphone listening prompts further exploration of these effects. In this study listeners are asked to add reverberation to a dry signal as presented over two different playback systems: headphones and loudspeakers. The final reverberation levels set by each subject are compared for the two monitoring systems. The resulting data show significant level differences across the two monitoring systems.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society