Whilst there is a significant body of work that focuses on the spatial quality and tonality of immersive surround sound systems for a sweet spot position, these qualities under a dynamic listening scenario (i.e. where the listener or source is moving) are less understood. Off-centre listening and listener movement in the reproduction area can have significant detrimental effect on the spatial image quality and tonality of the reproduced soundfield. This project will therefore undertake a series of psychoacoustic studies with the end goal of producing objective metrics for tonal and spatial audio quality in scenarios where the listener is out of the sweet spot or moving in the listening zone, such as in an interactive game that uses kinetic motion tracking.
This project will focus in particular on transaural reproduction, which is particularly sensitive to listener position and attempts to deliver the correct cues for immersive 3-D surround sound to the ears using two or more loudspeakers typically located in the the forward plane of the listener. The effect of source/listener movement on the tonal quality of the reproduced audio will be measured through formal psychoacoustic testing at specified locations within the listening zone, as well as modeling of the reproduction scenarios. In particular, impairments in tonal quality due to different levels of adaptive room-acoustic equalisation, which is a core component for transaural reproduction, will be studied. The data will contribute to the development of new algorithms for soundfield reproduction for interactive and immersive audio systems.