Accuracy in sound localization: interactive effects of stimulus bandwidth, duration and rise decay

Sharon M. Abel, Chetan S. Gujrathi


This study investigated the effects of stimulus bandwidth/centre frequency (broadband noise vs one-third octave bands, centred at 500 Hz and 4000 Hz), in interaction with stimulus duration/rise decay time (50/10, 300/10, 300/50 and 380/50 ms) on sound localization. The experiment was conducted in a semi-reverberant sound proof booth. Twelve normal-hearing subjects were tested using a single array of six loudspeakers positioned 60 deg apart in the horizontal plane. Each was presented one block of 120 forced-choice speaker identification trials for each for the twelve listening conditions. Subjects achieved 100% correct in localizing broadband noise, regardless of duration/rise decay. Scores were significantly lower for the one-third octave bands. There was no difference due to frequency for the three longer durations. For the short duration/short rise decay, a relative improvement was observed for the low frequency and a decrement for the high frequency. The results were interpreted with reference to the precedence effect.


Acoustic noise; Acoustic waves; Bandwidth; Frequencies; Loudspeakers; Subjective testing; Precedence effect; Sound localization; Speaker identification; Stimulus duration; Stimulus rise decay

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