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Quantitative Assessment of Acoustical Attributes and Listener Preferences in Binaural Renderers

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The rapid development of immersive audio technologies has increased the number of binaural renderers used for three-dimensional auditory experiences. These renderers, which primarily use Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs), differ significantly in their algorithms and techniques. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the impact of these differences on listeners’ overall preferences and impressions. In this study, 28 participants from Korea, Japan, and the United States evaluated three binauralized music from four commercial binaural renderers in three attributes: overall preference, spatial fidelity, and timbral fidelity. The result showed that one listener group could clearly discriminate renderers based on the overall preference, with highly preferred renderers incorporating both HRTFs and room-related characteristic information. Furthermore, the renderers that rated higher in the timbral fidelity tended not to be identified as the preferred renderers. This research highlights the need for more extensive studies to explore the relationship between acoustic properties and preferences in immersive audio rendering using binaural renderers.

Express Paper 147; AES Convention 155; October 2023
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