Audibility of Group-Delay Equalization

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A1 Alkuperäisartikkeli tieteellisessä aikakauslehdessä
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IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing
This paper discusses the audibility of group-delay variations. Previous research has found limits of audibility as a function of frequency for different test signals, but extracting the tolerance for group delay to help audio reproduction system designers is hard. This study considers four critical test signals, three synthetic and one recorded, modified with digital allpass filters. The signals are filtered to produce a positive or negative group-delay peak covering the most sensitive frequency range from 500 Hz to 4 kHz, without changing the delay at other frequencies. ABX listening tests using headphones reveal the audibility thresholds for each signal. The perception is highly dependent on the signal, and the unit impulse and pink impulse are the most critical test signals. Negative group-delay variations are more easily audible than positive ones. The smallest mean threshold for the negative group delay was -0.56 ms and 0.64 ms for the positive group delay, obtained with a pink impulse. The thresholds are smaller than those obtained in previous studies. A synthetic hi-hat sound decaying 60 dB in 80 ms hides a positive group-delay variation. The variation is more difficult to hear in a recorded castanet sound than in the most critical synthetic signals. This work demonstrates how the group-delay response of headphones and loudspeakers can be perceptually tested, and leads to a better understanding of how audio systems should be equalized to avoid audible group-delay distortion.
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Acoustic signal processing, audio systems, delay systems, Delays, Headphones, headphones, IIR filters, Licenses, Loudspeakers, Phase distortion, psychoacoustics, Speech processing, Time-frequency analysis
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Liski , J , Makivirta , A & Valimaki , V 2021 , ' Audibility of Group-Delay Equalization ' , IEEE/ACM Transactions on Audio Speech and Language Processing , vol. 29 , 9450008 , pp. 2189-2201 .