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Laboratory Reproduction of Binaural Concert Hall Measurements through Individual Headphone Equalization at the Eardrum

Progress relating measurements to perception of acoustics of all kinds has been stymied by the difficulty of accurately reproducing a room sound in a laboratory. Spatial aliasing above 1000 Hz, where most information in speech and music resides, severely limits the ability of multiple loudspeaker systems to reproduce proximity. We have developed a simple method of equalizing headphones that accurately reproduces the timbre of a frontal sound source at the eardrums. Combining individual headphone playback with Tapio Lokki’s anechoic recordings makes hall research inexpensive, rapid, and accurate. We can easily test the effects of early reflections and other spatial properties. We find the earliest reflections, whether medial or lateral, are almost always detrimental. Examples from real halls will be presented.

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