Some researchers believe that the reproduction of multichannel spatial audio would be improved by using separate transducers for the direct and diffuse components of the sound. This research seeks to empirically test this assumption. The perceptual effect of angular separation in commonly used 5.0 and 7.0 multichannel systems was investigated. Four listening experiments were performed involving several schemes of separation and a variety of experimental conditions. The listeners consistently preferred schemes with separation. The perceptual effects of four types of management of direct and reflected parts of spatial impulse responses (SIR) were considered: using complete SIRs in all channels; removing the direct sound (DS) from all but the center channel in a standard 5.0 system; removing ambience from the center channel in a standard 5.0 system; applying both of the above operations (separating DS from reflected sounds RS in particular channels). Depending on the configuration, separation did in fact have advantages.
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