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What we measure is what we hear
Yahzi
post Dec 24 2012, 17:34
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I've heard audiophiles claim time and time again that what we measure does not reflect what we hear in a listening evaluation. I think Floyd Tool is the pioneer in conducting the studies for this, but who else as in a position of authority has led research into this field? It can't be mere opinion. I feel measurements largely do correlate with subjective sound quality but I don't think *all* measurements do. Some are more relevant than others.

What is your position?
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knutinh
post Jan 3 2013, 13:02
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Good work carried out by Toole and others aside:
Are there good measurement methods available that can prove that the spatial characteristics of two audio events will be indistinguishable in a blind test?

I think that measuring the behaviour of loudspeakers in a room (or microphones) in a perceptually meaningfull manner is quite hard. It is easy to find _some_ difference, it is hard to tag the relevant differences while discarding the irrelevant differences.

People tends to move their heads, and HRTFs can vary quite a bit from person to person. Sticking a single omni B&K microphone at "sweet spot" does not tell us all there is to know about a loudspeaker/room system. Toole advocates empirical weighting of on-axis/off-axis loudspeaker measurements done in anechoic chambers, together with physical analysis of room geometry, but I dont think that approach is necessarily "perfect"?

-k
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Arnold B. Kruege...
post Jan 3 2013, 13:34
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QUOTE (knutinh @ Jan 3 2013, 07:02) *
Good work carried out by Toole and others aside:
Are there good measurement methods available that can prove that the spatial characteristics of two audio events will be indistinguishable in a blind test?


Read the last 10 posts or so again, and ask a different question! ;-)

All we can do in the blind test or any test is reject the hypothesis that there is an audible or other difference. We can't ever prove that any two sounds are absolutely indistinguishable.

The sensitivity of technical tests is such that we can always find a difference between two signals, particularly if they originate in acoustical events.

The sensitivity of really well-done DBTs is such that we can generally find a difference between two signals, particularly if they originate in different ways in an acoustical sense, even at the identical same event. I haven't done any formal sensitivity studies, but I know that it is not always easy to find two microphones that match each other so well that they can't be distinguished by ear, even when they are as coincident as we can make them.

As has been pointed out by others, my experiences tell me that moving my head a foot, or changing its orientation by a dozen or two degrees makes things sound different. I know that if I'm doing a DBT involving small differences I have to hold my head in a consistent manner in order to obtain reliable detection near the threshold of audibility.

QUOTE
I think that measuring the behaviour of loudspeakers in a room (or microphones) in a perceptually meaningful manner is quite hard.


That depends on which perceptual meaning that you are investigating.

QUOTE
It is easy to find _some_ difference, it is hard to tag the relevant differences while discarding the irrelevant differences.


Obviously, the better job you do of reducing or eliminating the irrelevant differences, the easier it is to reliably detect the relevant ones. That's why the golden ears look so silly to people who have done a lot of good listening tests. Their so-called tests control so few things that their experiences are chock full of audible differences. Out of this thicket of audible differences they pick one subtle or non-existent thing such as the SQ of a DAC or amplifier, and write several pages of poetry about it.

QUOTE
People tends to move their heads, and HRTFs can vary quite a bit from person to person.


So when the golden ears fail to ever talk about the difficulties that are common in listening tests for these reasons, we have evidence about the reliablity of their conclusions.

QUOTE
Sticking a single omni B&K microphone at "sweet spot" does not tell us all there is to know about a loudspeaker/room system.


That would hardly be news!

QUOTE
Toole advocates empirical weighting of on-axis/off-axis loudspeaker measurements done in anechoic chambers, together with physical analysis of room geometry, but I dont think that approach is necessarily "perfect"?


You have not yet noticed that nothing in the real world is perfect or ever will be?

(Yoda-like laughter...) ;-)
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Posts in this topic
- Yahzi   What we measure is what we hear   Dec 24 2012, 17:34
- - slks   It depends on which measurements we're talking...   Dec 24 2012, 17:56
- - Yahzi   So you are saying that measurements can explain wh...   Dec 24 2012, 18:22
|- - Ethan Winer   ^^^ Yes, you understand correctly. I've done a...   Dec 24 2012, 19:23
- - AndyH-ha   To sum of one aspect of "what we measure is N...   Dec 24 2012, 21:59
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Yahzi @ Dec 24 2012, 11:34) I...   Dec 24 2012, 23:40
- - Porcus   Two totally different points: (1) Those annoying ...   Dec 24 2012, 23:56
- - Woodinville   Many people have worked on measuring what you hear...   Dec 25 2012, 03:52
|- - jkauff   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Dec 24 2012, 21:52) ...   Dec 29 2012, 15:18
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (jkauff @ Dec 29 2012, 09:18) QUOTE...   Dec 31 2012, 18:14
- - dhromed   Your daughter is not an unmeasured outlier; she...   Dec 29 2012, 15:27
|- - garym   QUOTE (dhromed @ Dec 29 2012, 09:27) Your...   Dec 29 2012, 16:14
|- - sld   QUOTE (garym @ Dec 29 2012, 23:14) QUOTE ...   Dec 29 2012, 19:27
- - greynol   I doubt she is as well. What frequency is the cat ...   Dec 29 2012, 15:30
|- - jkauff   QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 29 2012, 09:30) I do...   Dec 30 2012, 23:05
|- - Soap   QUOTE (jkauff @ Dec 30 2012, 17:05) Cat h...   Dec 30 2012, 23:49
- - greynol   We hear about people in their early 20s and younge...   Dec 29 2012, 19:21
- - Mach-X   Ouch.   Dec 29 2012, 20:55
- - Yahzi   Correct me if I'm wrong but we hear using our ...   Dec 30 2012, 14:07
|- - Soap   QUOTE (Yahzi @ Dec 30 2012, 08:07) Correc...   Dec 30 2012, 15:05
- - Yahzi   I just thought I'd ask the question and I thou...   Dec 30 2012, 16:39
- - Speedskater   If you restrict the use of the words "hear...   Dec 30 2012, 17:52
- - pisymbol   QUOTE (Yahzi @ Dec 24 2012, 11:34) I...   Dec 31 2012, 02:05
|- - AndyH-ha   QUOTE (pisymbol @ Dec 30 2012, 18:05) But...   Dec 31 2012, 02:52
|- - pisymbol   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Dec 30 2012, 20:52...   Dec 31 2012, 03:12
|- - db1989   QUOTE (pisymbol @ Dec 31 2012, 02:12) Sub...   Dec 31 2012, 05:25
|- - Ethan Winer   QUOTE (pisymbol @ Dec 30 2012, 21:12) Sub...   Dec 31 2012, 18:14
||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Ethan Winer @ Dec 31 2012, 18:14) ...   Dec 31 2012, 18:41
||- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 31 2012, 09:41) This...   Jan 1 2013, 03:10
||- - Ethan Winer   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 31 2012, 12:41) but ...   Jan 1 2013, 19:09
|||- - Martel   QUOTE (Ethan Winer @ Jan 1 2013, 20:09) ....   Jan 1 2013, 19:54
|||- - Nessuno   Let alone those quite obvious issues which actuall...   Jan 1 2013, 23:08
||- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 31 2012, 12:41) ...i...   Jan 2 2013, 17:43
||- - pdq   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Dec 31 2012, 12:41) if p...   Jan 2 2013, 17:50
||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 2 2013, 17:50) QUOTE (Ne...   Jan 2 2013, 19:16
|||- - pdq   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 2 2013, 13:16) QUOTE...   Jan 2 2013, 20:28
|||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 2 2013, 20:28) However, ...   Jan 2 2013, 21:12
|||- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 2 2013, 21:12) QUOTE...   Jan 3 2013, 01:13
||||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Kohlrabi @ Jan 3 2013, 01:13) QUOT...   Jan 3 2013, 02:11
||||- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 2 2013, 17:11) QUOTE...   Jan 3 2013, 11:15
|||- - pdq   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 2 2013, 15:12) QUOTE...   Jan 3 2013, 02:07
||- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 2 2013, 11:50) QUOTE (Ne...   Jan 3 2013, 01:20
|||- - Kohlrabi   QUOTE (Arnold B. Krueger @ Jan 3 2013, 01...   Jan 3 2013, 01:23
||- - krabapple   QUOTE (pdq @ Jan 2 2013, 11:50) QUOTE (Ne...   Jan 3 2013, 18:12
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (pisymbol @ Dec 30 2012, 21:12) Sub...   Dec 31 2012, 18:25
- - AndyH-ha   Subjective impressions are, after all, impressions...   Dec 31 2012, 07:38
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (AndyH-ha @ Dec 30 2012, 22:38...   Dec 31 2012, 09:43
|- - Kees de Visser   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Dec 31 2012, 09:43) ...   Dec 31 2012, 17:08
|- - greynol   I don't think this forum is scared of subjecti...   Dec 31 2012, 17:43
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 31 2012, 08:43) I do...   Jan 1 2013, 03:06
- - greynol   TL;DR: MUSHRA and other ABC-style tests are subjec...   Dec 31 2012, 11:59
|- - Satellite_6   So far the best measuring headphones I have tried ...   Dec 31 2012, 15:32
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Satellite_6 @ Dec 31 2012, 15:32) ...   Dec 31 2012, 16:18
- - Martel   What's the "best measuring" frequenc...   Dec 31 2012, 16:15
|- - Soap   QUOTE (Martel @ Dec 31 2012, 10:15) What...   Dec 31 2012, 16:42
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Martel @ Dec 31 2012, 07:15) What...   Jan 1 2013, 03:08
- - greynol   Maybe we should take a close look at the meaning o...   Dec 31 2012, 20:29
- - jkauff   Next, on to wine tasting....   Dec 31 2012, 21:28
- - greynol   Feel free to start a new topic, replacing the word...   Dec 31 2012, 22:13
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (greynol @ Dec 31 2012, 13:13) Feel...   Jan 1 2013, 03:12
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Dec 31 2012, 21:12) ...   Jan 1 2013, 15:47
- - greynol   You're right, I just don't know that we sh...   Jan 1 2013, 03:25
|- - Nessuno   Maybe a little OT, but I recall a "rule of th...   Jan 1 2013, 12:47
- - Yahzi   It seems this discussion ain't over yet. Thank...   Jan 1 2013, 20:49
- - greynol   The point I was making is that the ears (outer or ...   Jan 2 2013, 00:23
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 1 2013, 15:23) The p...   Jan 2 2013, 00:41
||- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 2 2013, 00:41) I...   Jan 2 2013, 01:12
||- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 1 2013, 16:12) QUOTE...   Jan 2 2013, 01:40
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (greynol @ Jan 2 2013, 00:23) The p...   Jan 2 2013, 01:01
|- - Woodinville   QUOTE (Nessuno @ Jan 1 2013, 16:01) QUOTE...   Jan 2 2013, 01:44
|- - Nessuno   QUOTE (Woodinville @ Jan 2 2013, 01:44) Y...   Jan 2 2013, 12:10
- - Martel   It's nearly impossible to measure subjective f...   Jan 2 2013, 13:19
|- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (Martel @ Jan 2 2013, 07:19) It...   Jan 2 2013, 17:47
- - heatfire   Can only measure that we hear it not how or what w...   Jan 2 2013, 15:53
- - heatfire   There is one measurement some "audiophiles...   Jan 2 2013, 19:49
- - knutinh   Good work carried out by Toole and others aside: A...   Jan 3 2013, 13:02
- - Arnold B. Krueger   QUOTE (knutinh @ Jan 3 2013, 07:02) Good ...   Jan 3 2013, 13:34


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