Comparison between binaural reproduction methods for auditory distance perception in virtual reality
Sammanfattning: In recent years, virtual reality (VR) has become more common within the media industry and with its increasing popularity, spatial audio reproduction methods such as ambisonics have got more attention. But how humans perceive auditory events in VR is an ongoing research topic and there is a need for keep evaluating the reproduction methods used for it. Even though humans’ auditory distance perception in natural and laboratory conditions has been investigated in many previous studies, little has been made in VR environments. Thus, there is a need for keep investigating how humans estimate sound source distances in VR and which recording techniques that results in most accurate estimations. This study aimed to investigate human’s accuracy in sound source distance estimations in VR, when sound sources have been recorded with an artificial head or first-order ambisonic (FOA) microphone. Three different reproductions methods were used in the study: artificial head, FOA-tracked binaural and FOA-static binaural. In a VR environment, twenty-three subjects were asked to position a virtual loudspeaker at the same position as a sound source. The results showed no significant differences between the three reproduction methods. In the results it was also shown that the subjects clearly overestimated the sound source distances. A possible reason is that the subjects underestimated the size of the virtual environment.
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