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Sensitivity of human hearing to changes in phase spectrum

: Laitinen, Mikko-Ville

Journal of the Audio Engineering Society 61 (2013), Nr.11, S.860-877
ISSN: 0004-7554
ISSN: 1549-4950
Fraunhofer IIS ()

Human ability to perceive differences in sounds due to the modification of the phase spectrum is studied in this article. Formal listening tests were arranged using synthetic harmonic complex signals. The tests confirm that humans can perceive differences in the phase spectrum. Furthermore, the perception of phase was found to be somewhat local in frequency, but there is interaction between nearby auditory bands. In addition, the phase spectrum affects the perceived timbre, and the effects are more perceivable the lower the fundamental frequency is. Based on the results, an auditory model for explaining these effects was developed. It aims to mimic the firing rate of the neurons in the cochlea. The output of the auditory model and the listening-test results were compared showing a good match.