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2016-03-01: Listening position preference for different 5.0 reproductions

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Fig. 55 Number of chosen preferred positons summed over all listeners and recording techniques. On the left side the results without visual feedback and on the right with visual feedback about the actual listening position are shown. (PDF version)

We conducted an experiment on the preferred listening position in a 5.0 surround setup. The experiment was performed in the studio like room Calypso in the Telefunken building of the TU Berlin. The experiment employed dynamic binaural synthesis in order to allow instantaneous switching between positions during listening. To accomplish this BRIRs were recorded before at nine different positions, see TU Berlin, room Calypso, 5.0 surround setup for different listening positions. 26 test participants rated their preferred listening position out of the 9 positions for every recording technique. They did this first without visual feedback using a GUI that only showed nine buttons where the stimuli were randomly assigned to. In a second run they had a GUI showing a actual sketch of the listening setup, similar to the sketch shown in Table 48.


The BRIRs used in this experiment were not the one available under 10.5281/zenodo.160761, but an earlier version available under 10.5281/zenodo.49691. That earlier version had an error in the metadata of the stored SOFA files, resulting in the fact that the listeners were not looking towards the front at all listening positions, but facing always towards the center loudspeaker.

As music material seven different simultaneously recordings of the piece “Maurerische Trauermusik K.477” of W. A. Mozart were used. The recordings differed in the applied recording technique, which are listed in Table 45 and were done at ORF (Austrian Broadcast, Vienna) and the piece was played by the Radio Symphony Orchestra Vienna. For more details on the applied microphones and for downloading all recordings have a look at [Wittek2015].

Fig. 55 summarizes the results across all listeners and recording techniques, showing only differences between with and without visual feedback. The results for the different recording techniques are summarized in this PDF. For more details on the experiment have a look at [Schultze2016].

Table 45 Different recording techniques used and there corresponding abbreviations.
Abbreviation Recording technique
Rec. 80 Stereo + C + NHK
Rec. 81 Decca-Tree + NHK
Rec. 82 OCT + NHK
Rec. 83 INA5 (Brauner ASM5)
Rec. 84 Schoeps KFM 360 + DSP-4 KFM 360
Rec. 85 OCT-Surround
Rec. 86 Soundfield MKV + SP 451


The experiment was performed with dynamic binaural synthesis. The employed BRS files are available under:


The actual stimuli were extracted from the DVD available for download at [Wittek2015] and are stored in the database as wav files under:


The results of the single listeners are available under:


The analysis, resulting in Fig. 55 is available under:

[Schultze2016]Schultze, A. (2016), “Der Sweet Spot in 5.0 Wiedergabesystemen in Abhängigkeit des Aufnahmeverfahrens und des visuellen Eindrucks des Zuhörers,” bachelor thesis, Technische Universität Berlin
[Wittek2015](1, 2) Wittek, H. (2015), “ORF Surround sound techniques, 2002,” http://www.hauptmikrofon.de/stereo-3d/orf-surround-techniques, last access: 2016/10/21