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Perceptual Comparison of Dynamic Binaural Reproduction Methods for Sparse Head-Mounted Microphone Arrays

This paper presents results of a listening experiment evaluating three-degrees-of-freedom binaural reproduction of head-mounted microphone array signals. The methods are applied to an array of five microphones whose signals were simulated for static and dynamic array orientations.Methods under test involve scene-agnostic binaural reproduction methods as well as methods that have knowledge of (a subset of) source directions. The results of an instrumental evaluation reveal errors in the reproduction of interaural level and time differences for all scene-agnostic methods, which are smallest for the end-to-end magnitude-least-squares method. Additionally, the inherent localization robustness of the array under test and different simulated microphone arrays is investigated and discussed, which is of interest for a parametric reproduction method included in the study. In the listening experiment, the end-to-end magnitude-least-squares reproduction method outperforms other scene-agnostic approaches. Above all, linearly constrained beamformers using known source directions in combination with the end-to-end magnitude-least-squares method outcompete the scene-agnostic methods in perceived quality, especially for a rotating microphone array under anechoic conditions.


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