Listener-perspective Dependency of Spatial Impression in a Reverberant Concert Hall

This PhD project covers the subjective variation of Spatial Impression at different positions and orientations within a concert hall. It is believed that a fundamental understanding of how the subjective perception of auditory impression changes at various positions and orientations in concert halls would be beneficial for developing more accurate and efficient virtual acoustics in an extended reality context.

A custom-built precision turntable was used to measure head-rotated impulse responses in the St. Paul’s concert hall at the University of Huddersfield. One hundred impulse responses were measured for 17 positions, with an angular resolution of 3.6°.

Elicitation conducted at different positions and head orientations revealed a set of ten salient perceptual attributes of spatial impression. Several new attributes were considered important in the context of subjective evaluation of auditory impression at multiple head orientations. Furthermore, it was found that conventional perceptual attributes such as the Listener Envelopment (LEV) and Apparent Source Width (ASW) may be described better by more focused perceptual sub-attributes.

Subjective grading of the elicited perceptual dimensions was conducted using a pairwise comparison method. The analysis revealed how spatial impression attributes are perceived differently at different positions. More importantly, it showed how perception varies at different head orientations. These findings are an important step towards developing perceptually accurate virtual acoustics in environments which require such changes in listener perspective.

Several objective parameters were calculated at each of the positions measured across the concert hall. Analysis revealed that the measures varied the most across the hall’s width and listener head rotation angles.

Finally, a relationship was established between the objective measures and subjective attributes. It was found that the lateral distribution of the late reverberant field relative to the listener’s ears could describe the perceptual variations of envelopment across the measured positions and orientations.

PhD project: 2019 – 2022, funded by the University of Huddersfield

Researcher: Bogdan Bacila

Supervisor: Dr Hyunkook Lee


  • Bacila, B. I., & Lee, H. (2021, January). Listener-Position and Orientation Dependency of Auditory Perception in an Enclosed Space: Elicitation of Salient Attributes. Applied Sciences, 11 (4), 1570. doi:10.3390/app11041570.

  • Bacila, B. I., & Lee, H. (2019a, March 10). 360° Binaural Room Impulse Response (BRIR) Database for 6DOF Spatial Perception Research. Audio Engineering Society Convention 146, Audio Engineering Society

  • Bacila, B. I., & Lee, H. (2019b, June 23–27). Subjective elicitation of listener perspective-dependent spatial attributes in a reverberant room, using the repertory grid technique. International Conference on Auditory Display, Newcastle upon Tyne

  • Bacila, B. I., & Lee, H. (2020a, May 28). Listener-perspective dependency of perceived auditory attributes in a concert hall. Audio Engineering Society Convention 148, Audio Engineering Society

  • Bacila, B. I., & Lee, H. (2020b, October 22). Listener-perspective-dependent variation of interaural cross-correlation coefficient in a reverberant space.

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