Spatial audio processes (SAPs) commonly encountered in consumer audio reproduction systems are known to produce a range of impairments to spatial quality. By way of two listening tests, this paper investigated the degree of degradation of the spatial quality of six 5-channel audio recordings resulting from 48 such SAPs. Perceived degradation also depends on the particular listeners, the program content, and the listening location. For example, combining off-center listener with another SAP can reduce spatial quality significantly when compared to listening to that SAP from a central location. The choice of the SAP can have a large influence on the degree of degradation. Taken together these findings and the quality-annotated database can guide the development of a regression model of perceived overall spatial audio quality, incorporating previously developed spatially-relevant feature-extraction algorithms. The results can guide the development of an artificial-listener-based evaluation system.
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