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Improvements and User Preferences in Auralization for Multi-Party Teleconferencing Systems Using Binaural Audio

The introduction of spatial audio in multi-party teleconferencing systems create realistic communication environments with increased immersion compared to monaural systems. Moreover, the introduction of auralization effects can increase even more the immersion but at the expenses of a reduced intelligibility. In this paper we study the influence of some specific auralization processing details for a trade-off between realism and intelligibility. Our own spatial multi-party teleconferencing software running on smartphones and tablets has been developed for carrying out different subjective experiments. By means of subjective testing with a jury, it has been evaluated the influence in immersion, intelligibility, and user preferences in relation with early echoes, late reverberation, and the introduction of simple near-field HRTF processing when audio sources are very close to the user. Results provide interesting guidelines for developing teleconference systems with more subtle auralization and HRTF effects.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society