Lee, Hyunkook (2017) Sound Source and Loudspeaker Base Angle Dependency of the Phantom Image Elevation Effect. Journal of the Audio Engineering Society, 65 (9). pp. 733-748. ISSN 1549-4950

Early studies found that, when identical signals were presented from two loudspeakers equidistant from the listener, the resulting phantom image was elevated in the median plane and the degree of the elevation increased with the loudspeaker base angle. However, sound sources used in such studies were either unknown or limited to noise signals. In order to investigate the dependencies of the elevation effect on sound source and loudspeaker base angle in details, the present study conducted listening tests using eleven natural sources and four noise sources with different spectral and temporal characteristics for seven loudspeaker base angles between 0° and 360°. The elevation effect was found to be significantly dependent on the sound source and base angle. Results generally suggest that the effect is stronger for sources with transient nature and a flat frequency spectrum than for continuous and low-frequency-dominant sources. Theoretical reasons for the effect are also discussed based on head-related transfer function measurements. It is proposed that the perceived degree of elevation would be determined by a relative cue related to the spectral energy distribution at high frequencies, but by an absolute cue associated with the acoustic crosstalk and torso reflections at low frequencies.

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