Localization Uncertainty in Time-Amplitude Stereophonic Reproduction

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De Sena E., Cvetkovic Z., Hachabiboglu H., Moonen M., van Waterschoot T.

IEEE-ACM TRANSACTIONS ON AUDIO SPEECH AND LANGUAGE PROCESSING, vol.28, pp.1000-1015, 2020 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier


This article studies the effects of inter-channel time and level differences in stereophonic reproduction on perceived localization uncertainty, which is defined as how difficult it is for a listener to tell where a sound source is located. Towards this end, a computational model of localization uncertainty is proposed first. The model calculates inter-aural time and level difference cues, and compares them to those associated to free-field point-like sources. The comparison is carried out using a particular distance functional that replicates the increased uncertainty observed experimentally with inconsistent inter-aural time and level difference cues. The model is validated by formal listening tests, achieving a Pearson correlation of 0.99. The model is then used to predict localization uncertainty for stereophonic setups and a listener in central and off-central positions. Results show that amplitude methods achieve a slightly lower localization uncertainty for a listener positioned exactly in the center of the sweet spot. As soon as the listener moves away from that position, the situation reverses, with time-amplitude methods achieving a lower localization uncertainty.