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Audibility of Components Above 22 kHz in a Harmonic Complex Tone

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To examine if ultrasounds in a complex tone might affect impression of the sound, psycho-acoustic experiments were designed. Human subjects were asked to discriminate between stimuli with and without components above 22 kHz. In the first experiment, all loudspeakers were placed in the frontal position so that the stimuli were presented in a monophonic condition. In the second experiment, they were placed in a stereophonic arrangement in order to examine if ultrasounds might affect spatial features of the sound image. The subjects were only able to distinguish between sounds with and without ultrasounds when the ultrasonic components were mixed with the other components and presented through a single loudspeaker. When each ultrasonic component was not mixed with other components and presented through each of different loudspeakers in order to reduce intermodulation distortions, no subject could detect any ultrasounds in both experiments. It was concluded that addition of ultrasounds might affect sound impression by means of some non-linear interaction that might occur in the loudspeakers. It was also indicated that the ultrasounds would be extremely difficult to detect under an appropriate experimental condition.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: May 1, 2003

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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