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Personal sound zone reproduction with room reflections

Olik, Marek (2015) Personal sound zone reproduction with room reflections Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Loudspeaker-based sound systems, capable of a convincing reproduction of different audio streams to listeners in the same acoustic enclosure, are a convenient alternative to headphones. Such systems aim to generate "sound zones" in which target sound programmes are to be reproduced with minimum interference from any alternative programmes. This can be achieved with appropriate filtering of the source (loudspeaker) signals, so that the target sound's energy is directed to the chosen zone while being attenuated elsewhere. The existing methods are unable to produce the required sound energy ratio (acoustic contrast) between the zones with a small number of sources when strong room reflections are present. Optimization of parameters is therefore required for systems with practical limitations to improve their performance in reflective acoustic environments. One important parameter is positioning of sources with respect to the zones and room boundaries. The first contribution of this thesis is a comparison of the key sound zoning methods implemented on compact and distributed geometrical source arrangements. The study presents previously unpublished detailed evaluation and ranking of such arrangements for systems with a limited number of sources in a reflective acoustic environment similar to a domestic room. Motivated by the requirement to investigate the relationship between source positioning and performance in detail, the central contribution of this thesis is a study on optimizing source arrangements when strong individual room reflections occur. Small sound zone systems are studied analytically and numerically to reveal relationships between the geometry of source arrays and performance in terms of acoustic contrast and array effort (related to system efficiency). Three novel source position optimization techniques are proposed to increase the contrast, and geometrical means of reducing the effort are determined. Contrary to previously published case studies, this work presents a systematic examination of the key problem of first order reflections and proposes general optimization techniques, thus forming an important contribution. The remaining contribution considers evaluation and comparison of the proposed techniques with two alternative approaches to sound zone generation under reflective conditions: acoustic contrast control (ACC) combined with anechoic source optimization and sound power minimization (SPM). The study provides a ranking of the examined approaches which could serve as a guideline for method selection for rooms with strong individual reflections.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors :
Date : 27 February 2015
Funders : Bang & Olufsen A/S
Projects : Perceptually Optimized Sound Zones
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID, Philip J.
Depositing User : Marek Olik
Date Deposited : 09 Mar 2015 12:08
Last Modified : 09 Nov 2018 16:40

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