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Evaluation of Multichannel Audio in Automobiles versus Mobile Phones

Multichannel surround and 3D audio are slowly gaining popularity and eventually commercial content in these formats will become common. Many automobiles still have a stereo sound system with some firmware or software that is capable of rendering multichannel audio into stereo. This paper shows the results of a listening test for multichannel audio conducted in a medium-sized car. The results of this test are compared to the results of a listening test for the same audio excerpts but conducted on a mobile phone with headphones. The results show that on mobile phones, multichannel audio clearly outperforms stereo in terms of perceived audio quality as rated by a user. However in automobiles, multichannel audio only shows marginal improvement in the rated audio quality.


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