User Expectation of Room Acoustic Parameters in Virtual Reality Environments

Benjamin Burnett, Annika Neidhardt, Zoran Cvetkovic, Huseyin Hacihabiboglu, Enzo De Sena

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This paper explores how visual attributes of a VR scene affect user expectations of room reverberation. A psychoacoustic experiment was run wherein subjects wore a VR headset and adjusted two unlabelled sliders controlling the reverberation time (T60) and the acoustic room size until the reverberant response was closest to their expectation of how the room they were seeing should sound. Different visual character- istics, in particular, room type and size, surface material, and furnishing were modified to determine how these might affect their expectations of the reverberant response. Results showed that visual room size had a significant effect on both the expected T60, in agreement with previous literature, and on the expected acoustic room size. Both relations seem to be well-described by a simple sublinear power law model, which could be used, for instance, to design reverberation time (T60) and acoustic room size values that align well with listeners’ expectation for a given visual room volume. Differences in visual surface materials were found to have a statistically significant effect on the expected T60. The level of visual furnishing, on the other hand, only had a marginally significant effect on the expected T60. The results also indicate considerable subjective differences in individual expectations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Conference on Immersive and 3D Audio
Publication statusPublished - 2023

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