Enhanced Immersion for Binaural Audio Reproduction of Ambisonics in Six-Degrees-of-Freedom: The Effect of Added Distance Information
The immersion of the user is of key interest in the reproduction of acoustic scenes in virtual reality. It is enhanced when movement is possible in six degrees-of-freedom, i.e., three rotational plus three translational degrees. Further enhancement of immersion can be achieved when the user is not only able to move between distant sound sources, but can also move towards and behind close sources. In this paper, we employ a reproduction method for Ambisonics recordings from a single position that uses meta information on the distance of the sound sources in the recorded acoustic scene. A subjective study investigates the benefit of said distance information. Different spatial audio reproduction methods are compared with a multi-stimulus test. Two synthetic scenes are contrasted, one with close sources the user can walk around, and one with far away sources that can not be reached. We found that for close or distant sources, loudness changing with the distance enhances the experience. In case of close sources, the use of correct distance information was found to be important.