Spatial Audio and Sensory Evaluation Techniques Workshop

The workshop was held at the University of Surrey (Guildford, UK) on the 6th and 7th of April 2006.

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Group Wide Photo


The current standards for subjective and objective assessment of audio quality almost entirely neglect the spatial aspect of sound. Since it is envisaged that 21st century audio technologies will involve some form of 3D audio delivery, it is necessary to update the current standards by including the aforementioned factor of spatial audio quality. However, initial work undertaken in this area identified a number of problems related to psychometrics and psychology. Moreover, it was found that some sensory evaluation techniques developed in food sciences can be adapted and used to develop new methods for evaluation of spatial audio quality. It is suggested, therefore, that the effective process of development of new methods for evaluation of spatial audio quality may benefit from close collaboration of audio engineers, psychometricians, psychologists, and sensory evaluation specialists. The proposed workshop could facilitate this inter-disciplinary process.

The main outcome of the workshop, apart from the benefits of discussion and inter-disciplinary networking, is an identification of the major issues in the development of new techniques for evaluation of spatial audio quality matched by ideas for possible solutions seen from different viewpoints (psychometrics, food sciences etc.). Because of the importance of this topic and its potential benefits, the workshop might be of particular interest for those involved in audio products optimisation and audio quality assessment.

The workshop is supported by the British Section of the Audio Engineering Society.