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Academic Papers

Requirements for Low-Frequency Sound Reproduction, Part II: Generation of Stimuli and Listening System Equalization

Aki Mäkivirta and Jan Abildgaard Pedersen

July/August 2002, J. Audio Eng. Soc., Vol. 50, No. 7/8.

In part I of two papers the requirements for low-frequency sound reproduction were investigated by the variation of lower cutoff frequency and slope and by the introduction of different levels of amplitude ripple and group delay ripple in the passband of a high-performance sound reproduction system. Listening tests were performed at three different sound pressure levels using both loudspeakers in an anechoic chamber and headphones in an audiometric booth.

Two reproduction setups were used to confirm that equal results of the listening tests could be obtained in the two cases when proper equalization was implemented. It is described how DSP was used to generate stimuli and perform equalization of the two reproduction setups. The shape and magnitude of amplitude and group delay ripple were derived from room simulations of an IEC 268-13 sized room with varying reverberation time. Proper equalization included the introduction of head-related transfer functions in the signal path to the headphones. This ensured that the sound pressures at the ear drums were very similar in two cases: a person sitting in front of the loudspeakers in the anechoic chamber and a person wearing headphones in the experimental booth. Level calibration was performed on both setups using pink noise. The nonlinearities measured in the physical loudspeakers were introduced into the signal path to the headphones using a nonlinearity simulator program.