Perception and prediction of apparent source width and listener envelopment in binaural spherical microphone array auralizations
This article deals with the assessment and prediction of the reproduction quality when binaurally auralizing spherical microphone array data for room simulation applications. The auralization is perceptually assessed in a listening experiment using the two attributes, apparent source width (ASW) and listener envelopment (LEV), for spatial quality description, whereas the technical analysis employs a psychoacoustically motivated model for room acoustical perception (RAP) which is specifically designed to estimate ASW and LEV. Both analyses focus on the array configuration in terms of varying modal resolutions and its influence on the spatial reproduction quality. The auralizations comprise three simulated environments, i.e., free-field sound fields as well as a dry and a reverberant room. Ten different audio signals are used as test material. Perceptual results show that the array configuration strongly influences the perception of ASW and LEV which also depends on the reflection properties of the simulated room. The ASW and LEV predictions by the RAP model correlate well with the results from the listening experiment.