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Perceptual evaluation of binaural rendering and stereo width control in headphone reproduction

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Two-channel stereophonic sound reproduction is one of the most important issues in audio engineering. Most of stereo music sources, however, cannot naturally reproduce spatial impression through earphones and headphones. In this study, stereo sources are converted by either binaural rendering or stereo width control. The former convolves head-related impulse responses into the original stereo sources, and the latter shrinks the perceptual spatial width by adding the monaural signal. Perceptual differences in between the above methods are investigated on several spatial attributes. It is confirmed that the binaural rendering is suited to reproduce the spatial impression related to the whole sound field and the stereo width control is suitable for naturally characterizing the spatial attributes for individual sound sources.

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