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The Influence of Hearing and Sight on the Perceptual Evaluation of Home Speaker Systems

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Home speaker systems are not only functional but also aesthetic objects with both acoustic and optical proper-ties. We investigated the perceptual evaluation of four home speaker systems under acoustic, optical, and opto-acoustic conditions (factor Domain). By varying the speakers' acoustic and optical properties under the opto-acoustic condition in a mutually independent manner (factors Acoustic loudspeaker, Optical loudspeaker), we also investigated their proportional influence on perception. To this end, 40 non-expert participants rated 10 auditory, 2 visual, and 4 audiovisual features. The acoustic stimuli were generated by means of data-based dynamic binaural synthesis. Noticeably, participants did not realize that the speakers were acoustically simulated. Results indicated that only the mean ratings of two auditory and one audiovisual feature were significantly influenced by the factor Domain. There were speaker-dependent effects on three further auditory features. Small crossmodal effects from Optical loudspeaker on six auditory features were observed. Remarkably, the audiovisual features, particularly monetary value, were dominated by the optical properties instead of the acoustic. This is due to a low acoustic and a high optical variance of the speakers. Results give reason to the hypothesis that the optical properties imply an overall quality that in turn may influence the rating of auditory features.

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