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Investigation into the Effects of Subjective Test Interface Choice on the Validity of Results

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Subjective experiments are a cornerstone of modern research with a variety of tasks being undertaken by subjects. In the field of audio, subjective listening tests provide validation for research and aid fair comparison between techniques or devices such as coding performance, speakers, mixes, and source separation systems. Several interfaces have been designed to mitigate biases and to standardize procedures, enabling indirect comparisons. The number of different combinations of interface and test design make it extremely difficult to conduct a truly unbiased listening test. This paper resolves the largest of these variables by identifying the impact the interface itself has on a purely auditory test. This information is used to make recommendations for specific categories of listening tests.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society