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Quantifying Sound Quality in Loudspeaker Reproduction

To quantify the quality of a loudspeaker system, previous research generally focused on the loudspeaker parameters or on specific aspects of the acoustic output. This research attempts to determine the perceived sound quality of a diverse set of stereo music fragments in a wide variety of environments without using source audio signal as a reference. Rather, the reference is created by making binaural recordings with a head and torso simulator using the best-quality loudspeakers in the ideal listening spot in the best-quality listening environment. The reproduced reference signal with the highest subjective quality is compared to the acoustic degraded loudspeaker output of the system being tested. This new perceptual modeling approach allows a direct comparison between the perceived quality of an excellent loudspeaker in a bad reproduction room/non-optimal listening spot with that of a poor loudspeaker in an excellent reproduction room/optimal listening spot using any musical fragment. The model shows a high average correlation (0.85) between objective and subjective measurements.

JAES Volume 64 Issue 10 pp. 784-799; October 2016
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AES - Audio Engineering Society