Evaluation of Binaural Renderers: Multidimensional Sound Quality Assessment

Gregory Reardon, Andrea Genovese, Gabriel Zalles, Patrick Flanagan, Agnieszka Roginska (2018)
AES International Conference on Audio for Virtual and Augmented Reality

A multi-phase subjective experiment evaluating six commercially available binaural audio renderers was carried out. This paper presents the methodology, evaluation criteria, and main findings of the tests that assessed perceived sound quality of the renderers. Subjects appraised a number of specific sound quality attributes—timbral balance, clarity, naturalness, spaciousness, and dialogue intelligibility—and ranked, in terms of preference, the renderers for a set of music and movie stimuli presented over headphones. Results indicated that differences between the perceived quality and preference for a renderer are discernible. Binaural renderer performance was also found to be highly content-dependent, with significant interactions between renderers and individual stimuli being found, making it difficult to determine an “optimal” renderer for all settings.

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