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Evaluation of Real-Time Sound Propagation Engines in a Virtual Reality Framework

Sound propagation is the result of several wave phenomena that need to be modeled in real time to achieve realistic and immersive audio in games and virtual reality (VR). A physical and perceptual comparison is conducted between two different approaches: an image source model (ISM) of a shoebox room, and a ray-tracing simulation using custom geometries. The physical analysis compares the results with those of an industry standard room acoustic commercial package. The perceptual evaluation is implemented in an ecologically valid immersive VR framework. Results suggest that the ISM is subjectively more preferred in small to medium rooms, while ray-tracing is more appropriate for large reverberant spaces. Thus, a combination of both methods could suit a larger variety of spaces.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society