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A Mixed-Methods Evaluation of Preferences Between Binaural and Stereo Broadcast Audio with Experienced and Inexperienced Listeners

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An online experiment was conducted to determine preferences between binaural and stereo versions of the same audio material, as well as the reasons for these preferences. It was run with programme producers who had knowledge and experience of binaural audio and with members of the general public, more typical of broadcast audiences. The participants performed paired comparisons using a six-point preference scale, and described their reasons for that preference using a free-text response. There were six audio items, including classical and pop music, sports, and drama. Inexperienced listeners were less often able to hear differences between the two versions, and used less specific justifications for preferences that existed. Both groups often identified positive spatial characteristics of binaural versions.

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