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Perceptual thresholds for angular decomposition of direct and reverberant sound in Spatial Room Impulse Responses

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Spatial Room Impulse Response (SRIR) measurements are commonly used as a means of auralisation, creating a virtual representation of a physical space. These measurements are taken at discrete source-receiver positions, however in many practical applications it is desirable to place both the source and receiver at alternative locations. This study evaluates the panning of the Direct Sound (DS) away from the early reflections and reverberant sound of the SRIR as a means of placing sound sources at alternative locations. Perceptual listening tests, using AB blind tests and a staircase method, were conducted on 21 expert listeners to establish the Just Noticeable Difference (JND) for this technique to be used to reposition sound sources. For electronic noise bursts, listeners showed a perceptual threshold of 9.8 degrees, and for speech, a threshold of 10.8 degrees. Below this threshold, less than 25% of listeners were able to discern a difference from the early reflections and DS being rendered at the same location, in an AB test. These results suggest that below a certain threshold, interpolation is not necessary to place a sound source at an alternative location, and instead the DS can be rotated.

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