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Source Direction Determination with Headphones: An Adaptable Model for Binaural Surround Sound
Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Faculty of Information Technology, Mathematics and Electrical Engineering, Department of Electronics and Telecommunications.
2012 (English)MasteroppgaveStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

An adaptable binaural model for surround sound has been developed in this master’s thesis. The adaptability is based on measurements of the listener’s head. This model is based on what was found to be the best suited material combination of successful models in earlier studies. This includes an ellipsoidal model for interaural time difference, an one-pole, one-zero head shadow filter and the use of Blauert’s directional bands for spectral manipulation. The model can play back six channel surround content using the standardized 5.1 surround sound loudspeaker setup. This standardized loudspeaker placement is used when creating virtual sound sources. Arbitrary sound directions are made in the horizontal plane by creating virtual sound sources using vector base amplitude panning between the standardized loudspeaker positions. To test the performance of this model, a listening test was conducted. The hypothesis tested was that the adaptable model would produce equal or lower localization error, compared to the commercial model. 20 test subjects participated. The test featured three different test types; standardized 5.1 loudspeaker setup, a commercial model for surround sound in headphones, and the adaptable model. Localization accuracy for ten selected directions in the right half plane was tested. The results from the adaptable model were compared to the result of the commercial model. The loudspeaker setup acted as a reference. Mean localization error was found to be thrice as high for the adaptable model, compared to the commercial model. Both models had the same standard deviation. 95% of the confidence intervals for these models did not overlap, i.e. there is a significant difference between the two methods. With this one can safely conclude that the commercial model provided a smaller localization error than the adaptable model. Hence the hypothesis has to be disproved. Both the commercial model and the thesis model performed significantly worse than the loudspeaker setup. One difference between commercial model, and the thesis model, was that that the commercial model had added room reflections and reverberation. This can create the sensation that the sound is coming from outside the head, and make it easier to localize. This contradicts with the knowledge that reverberation diffuses the sound field, making the direct sound that provides the directional information become less prominent.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Institutt for elektronikk og telekommunikasjon , 2012. , 78 p.
Keyword [no]
ntnudaim:7954, MTEL elektronikk, Akustikk
URN: urn:nbn:no:ntnu:diva-18578Local ID: ntnudaim:7954OAI: diva2:566093
Available from: 2012-11-08 Created: 2012-11-08

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