Identification of some perceptual dimensions underlying loudspeaker dissimilarities

Mathieu Lavandier*, Sabine Meunier, Philippe Herzog

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    12 Citations (Scopus)


    This study investigated the dimensions underlying perceived differences between loudspeakers. Listeners compared the sound reproduction of 12 loudspeakers in a room, using three musical excerpts. For the loudspeakers to be compared one just after the other in exactly the same conditions, the sounds radiated by the loudspeakers were recorded in a listening room, and the recorded sounds were submitted to paired comparisons using headphones. The resulting perceptual dissimilarities were analyzed by using a multidimensional scaling technique, revealing two main perceptual dimensions used by listeners to discriminate the loudspeakers. These dimensions were identical for the three musical excerpts. As the signals heard by listeners were directly accessible, they were used to define acoustical attributes describing the perceptual dimensions. Instead of arbitrarily choosing one acoustical analysis to define these attributes, several analyses were compared. The temporal, spectral, and time-frequency domains were investigated, and different auditory models were tested. These auditory models allowed the best description of the differences perceived by listeners, and were used to define two acoustical attributes describing our perceptual dimensions: the bass/treble balance and the medium emergence.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)4186-4198
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2008

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