Localization of sound in rooms

J Acoust Soc Am. 1983 Nov;74(5):1380-91. doi: 10.1121/1.390163.


This paper is concerned with the localization of sources of sounds by human listeners in rooms. It presents the results of source-identification experiments designed to determine whether the ability to localize sound in a room depends upon the room acoustics, and how it depends upon the nature of the source signal. The experiments indicate that the localization of impulsive sounds, with strong attack transients, is independent of the room reverberation time, though it may depend upon the room geometry. For sounds without attack transients, localization improves monotonically with the spectral density of the source. Localization of continuous broadband noise does depend upon room reverberation time, and we propose the concept of direct signal to reverberant noise ratio to study that effect. Source identification experiments reveal certain localization biases, invisible to minimum-audible-angle experiments, and of uncertain origin. Appendices to this paper develop the statistics of the source-identification paradigm and show how they relate to the minimum audible angle.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Acoustics
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Auditory Perception*
  • Child
  • Environment*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Learning
  • Male
  • Psychoacoustics
  • Sound Localization*