Research on Perception Sensitivity of Elevation Angle in 3D Sound Field

  • Yafei Wu
  • Xiaochen WangEmail author
  • Cheng Yang
  • Ge Gao
  • Wei Chen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9916)


The development of virtual reality and three-dimensional (3D) video inspired the concern about 3D audio, 3D audio aims at reconstructing the spatial information of original signals, the spatial perception sensitivity and minimum audible angle (MAA) would help to improve the accuracy of reconstructing signals. The measurements and analysis of MAA thresholds are limited to the azimuth angle at present, lacking of elevation angles quantitative analyzing, it is unable to build the complete spatial perception model of 3D sound field, which could be used in accurate 3D sound field reconstruction. In order to study the perception sensitivity of elevation angle at different locations in 3D sound field, subjective listening tests were conducted, elevation minimum audible angle (EMAA) thresholds at 144 different locations in 3D sound field were tested. The tests were referred to the quantitative analysis of azimuth minimum audible angle (AMAA) thresholds of human ear, based on psychoacoustic model and manikin. The results show that the EMAA thresholds have obvious dependence on elevation angle, thresholds vary between 3\(^{\circ }\) and 30\(^{\circ }\), reach the minimum value at the ear plane (elevation angle: 0\(^{\circ }\)), increase proportional linearly as the elevation angle departs from the ear plane and reach a relative maximum value on both sides (elevation angle: \(-30^{\circ }\) and 90\(^{\circ }\)). Besides, the EMAA thresholds are dependent upon azimuth angle too, thresholds reach the minimum value around median plane (azimuth angle: 0\(^{\circ }\)).


Three-dimensional sound field Minimum audible angle Manikin Elevation minimum audible angle Elevation angle 


  1. 1.
    Mills, A.W.: On the minimum audible angle. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 30(4), 237–246 (1958)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gardner, W.G., Martin, K.D.: HRTF measurements of a KEMAR dummy-head microphone. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 97(6), 3907–3908 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Algazi, V.R., Duda, R.O., Thompson, D.M., et al.: The CIPIC HRTF database. In: IEEE Workshop on the Applications of Signal Processing to Audio and Acoustics, 2001, pp. 99–102. IEEE (2001)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Bertet, S., Daniel, J., Moreau, S.: 3D sound field recording with higher order ambisonics-objective measurements and validation of a 4th order spherical microphone. In: Audio Engineering Society Convention 120. Audio Engineering Society (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Ward, D.B., Abhayapala, T.D.: Reproduction of a plane-wave sound field using an array of loudspeakers. IEEE Trans. Speech Audio Process. 9(6), 697–707 (2001)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stevens, S.S., Newman, E.B.: The localization of actual sources of sound. Am. J. Psychol. 48, 297–306 (1936)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Perrott, D.R., Saberi, K.: Minimum audible angle thresholds for sources varying in both elevation and azimuth. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 87(4), 1728–1731 (1990)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Grantham, D.W., Hornsby, B.W.Y., Erpenbeck, E.A.: Auditory spatial resolution in horizontal, vertical and diagonal planes. J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 114(2), 1009–1022 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Barreto, A., Faller, K.J., Adjouadi, M.: 3D sound for human-computer interaction: regions with different limitations in elevation localization. In: Proceedings of the 11th International ACMSIGACCESS Conference on Computers and Accessibility, pp. 211–212. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Heng, W.: Research on perception characteristics of spatial cues in 3D audio. Wuhan University (2013)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Zhian, L., Qionghua, Y., Huaying, L.: Sound source location and discriminating threshold. Chin. J. Acoust. 3(1), 27–34 (1966)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Shuixian, C., Ruimin, H., Yutian, L., et al.: Frequency dependence of spatial cues and its implication in spatial stereo coding. In: International Conference on Computer Science and Software Engineering, 2008, vol. 4, pp. 1066–1069. IEEE (2008)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Blauert, J.: Spatial Hearing: The Psychophysics of Human Sound Localization. MIT press, Cambridge (1997)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Little, R.J.A., Rubin, D.B.: Statistical Analysis with Missing Data. Wiley, New York (2014)zbMATHGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Pulkki, V., Karjalainen, M.: Localization of amplitude-panned virtual sources I: stereophonic panning. J. Audio Eng. Soc. 49(9), 739–752 (2001)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yafei Wu
    • 1
    • 3
  • Xiaochen Wang
    • 4
    • 5
    Email author
  • Cheng Yang
    • 2
    • 3
  • Ge Gao
    • 1
    • 2
  • Wei Chen
    • 2
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Software EngineeringWuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  2. 2.National Engineering Research Center for Multimedia SoftwareComputer School of Wuhan UniversityWuhanChina
  3. 3.Research Institute of Wuhan University in ShenzhenShenzhenChina
  4. 4.Department of Electrical and Computer EngineeringGeorge Mason UniversityFairfaxUSA
  5. 5.Collaborative Innovation Center of Geospatial TechnologyWuhanChina

Personalised recommendations