Methods for estimating the reverberation time in room acoustics have always been considered an important problem. A common approach uses Schröder’s backward integration method because it reduces variability, which is interpreted as meaning that it produces a more accurate estimate. This article analyzes this assumption in contexts applicable to both blind and nonblind estimation. Expressions for the estimation bias and variance of the reverberation decay rate are derived and verified using Monte Carlo simulations. The results confirm that backward integration does indeed significantly reduce the variance of decay rate estimates but at a cost of an increased and possibly large bias, which reduces the accuracy of the result. Prudence is therefore required when using backward integration for automated decay rate estimation tasks.
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