Influence of the listening context on the perceived realism of binaural recordings

Binaural recordings and audio are becoming an interesting resource for composers, live performances and augmented reality. This paper focuses on the acceptance and the perceived quality by the audience of such spatial recordings. We present the results of a preliminary study of psychoacoustic perception where N=26 listeners had to report on the realism and the quality of different couples of sounds taken from two different rooms with peculiar reverb. Sounds are recorded with a self-made dummy head. The stimuli are grouped into classes with respects to some characteristics highlighted as potentially important for the task. Listening condition is fixed with headphones. Participants are divided into musically trained and naive subjects. Results show that there exists differences between the two groups of participants and that the “semantic relevance” of a sound plays a central role.