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Qualitative Evaluation of Media Device Orchestration for Immersive Spatial Audio Reproduction

The challenge of installing and setting up dedicated spatial audio systems can make it difficult to deliver immersive listening experiences to the general public. However, the proliferation of smart mobile devices and the rise of the Internet of Things mean that there are increasing numbers of connected devices capable of producing audio in the home. “Media device orchestration” (MDO) is the concept of utilizing an ad hoc set of devices to deliver or augment a media experience. In this paper, the concept is evaluated by implementing MDO for augmented spatial audio reproduction using object-based audio with semantic metadata. A system that augmented a stereo pair of loudspeakers with an ad hoc array of connected devices is described. The MDO approach aims to optimize aspects of the listening experience that are closely related to listener preference rather than attempting to recreate sound fields as devised during production. A thematic analysis of positive and negative listener comments about the system revealed three main categories of responses: perceptual, technical, and content-dependent aspects. MDO performed particularly well in terms of immersion/envelopment, but the quality of listening experience was partly dependent on loudspeaker quality and listener position.

Open Access


JAES Volume 66 Issue 6 pp. 414-429; June 2018
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AES - Audio Engineering Society