At the recent 2021 AES European Convention, ADAPT researcher, Enda Bates, delivered a paper on Ambisonic decoders. Ambisonics is an immersive audio format that has seen renewed interest in recent years due to its widespread use in new immersive media such as VR, AR, and 360° video. Once captured, ambisonic recordings can be manipulated in post-production to create any 360° surround soundscape desirable, making it ideal for immersive audio applications.
The research highlighted that the quality of different Ambisonic decoding strategies presents a number of challenges, most notably the lack of a suitable reference signal other than the original, real-world audio scene. In this paper a new test methodology for the evaluation of Ambisonic decoders is presented, using a virtual loudspeaker, binaural rendering approach. A sample study using a MUSHRA test paradigm and three different types of Ambisonic decoders was conducted and the results analyzed using a variety of different statistical approaches. The results indicate significant differences between decoders for some attributes and virtual loudspeaker layouts.
Centered around the theme of “Global Resonance,” the AES 2021 Convention celebrated the Audio Engineering Society’s rich history and diverse global membership, which continues to shape audio innovations and standards worldwide
The full paper is available online.