Perception of Surrounding Sound Source Trajectories in the Horizontal Plane: A Comparison of VBAP and Basic-Decoded HOA

Authors: Gandemer L., Parseihian G., Bourdin C., Kronland-Martinet R.
Publication Date: April 2018
Journal: Acta Acustica United with Acustica (Vol. 104, pp. 338 – 350, 2018)

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Despite the fundamental role played by sound in multiple virtual reality contexts, few studies have explored the perception of virtual sound source motion in the acoustic space. The goal of this study was to compare the localization of virtual moving sound sources rendered with two different spatialization techniques: Vector Base Amplitude Panning (VBAP) and fifth-order Ambisonics (HOA), both implemented in a soundproofed room and in their most basic form (basic decoding of HOA, VBAP without spread parameter). The perception of virtual sound trajectories surrounding untrained subjects (n=23) was evaluated using a new method based on a drawing-augmented multiple-choice questionnaire. In the spherical loudspeaker array used in this study, VBAP proved to be a robust spatialization technique for sound trajectory rendering in terms of trajectory recognition and height perception. In basic-decoded HOA, subjects exhibited far more disparate trajectory recognition and height perception performances but performed better in perceiving sound source movement homogeneity.