• Towards a generalized theory of low-frequency sound source localization

      Hill, Adam J.; Lewis, Simon P.; Hawksford, Malcolm O. J.; University of Derby; University of Essex (Institute of Acoustics, 2012-11)
      Low-frequency sound source localization generates considerable amount of disagreement between audio/acoustics researchers, with some arguing that below a certain frequency humans cannot localize a source with others insisting that in certain cases localization is possible, even down to the lowest audible of frequencies. Nearly all previous work in this area depends on subjective evaluations to formulate theorems for low-frequency localization. This, of course, opens the argument of data reliability, a critical factor that may go some way to explain the reported ambiguities with regard to low-frequency localization. The resulting proposal stipulates that low-frequency source localization is highly dependent on room dimensions, source/listener location and absorptive properties. In some cases, a source can be accurately localized down to the lowest audible of frequencies, while in other situations it cannot. This is relevant as the standard procedure in live sound reinforcement, cinema sound and home-theater surround sound is to have a single mono channel for the low-frequency content, based on the assumption that human’s cannot determine direction in this band. This work takes the first steps towards showing that this may not be a universally valid simplification and that certain sound reproduction systems may actually benefit from directional low-frequency content.