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Perceptual evaluation of listener envelopment using spatial granular synthesis

2023-01-24 18:36:13
Stefan Riedel, Matthias Frank, Franz Zotter


Listener envelopment refers to the sensation of being surrounded by sound, either by multiple direct sound events or by a diffuse reverberant sound field. More recently, a specific attribute for the sensation of being covered by sound from elevated directions has been proposed by Sazdov et al. and was termed listener engulfment. This contribution investigates the effect of the temporal and directional density of sound events on listener envelopment and engulfment. A spatial granular synthesis technique is used to precisely control the temporal and directional density of sound events. Experimental results indicate that a directionally uniform distribution of sound events at time intervals $\Delta t < 20$ milliseconds is required to elicit a sensation of diffuse envelopment, whereas longer time intervals lead to localized auditory events. It shows that elevated loudspeaker layers do not increase envelopment, but contribute specifically to listener engulfment. Lowpass-filtered stimuli increase envelopment, but lead to a decreased control over engulfment. The results can be exploited in the technical design and creative application of spatial sound synthesis and reverberation algorithms.

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