DOI: 10.1177/20592043231194751 ISSN:

Limited Emotional Value Added by Immersive 3D Audio: A Reanalysis

Kilian Sander, Yves Wycisk, Reinhard Kopiez
  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)
  • Music

Music in three-dimensional (3D) audio formats is becoming increasingly important in many areas of the entertainment industry. However, little research has been done on the effects of various playback formats on the emotional listening experience. A study by Hahn made an important contribution to this topic. Based on a repeated measures design and using the Geneva Emotional Music Scale (GEMS), he conducted a listening experiment comparing music experiences resulting from presentations in stereo, 5.1 surround sound, and Auro-3D 9.1 (a 3D audio format containing a 5.1 surround sound layer and four height channels) reproduced by loudspeakers. Data were made available for a reanalysis. The main aims of this study were (1) analyzing listening differences between formats as measured by the original GEMS factors, (2) calculating effect sizes for a better estimation of sample sizes for future studies, and (3) making the data set available to the public. For the reanalysis, the ratings of participants were aggregated (mean values for the nine GEMS factors per audio format). There were significant differences between the formats as shown by a nonparametric MANOVA ( N = 52) with the GEMS factors as dependent variables and the three audio formats as a repeated measures factor. For the GEMS factor Transcendence, an ANOVA ( N = 52) revealed a large omnibus effect (ηp2 = .206) for the three formats. Pairwise contrasts showed a significant increase (small to medium effect size) in emotional experiences for the Transcendence factor from stereo to surround sound (Cohen's dZ = 0.31), surround sound to 3D audio (Cohen's dZ = 0.45), and stereo to 3D audio (Cohen's dZ = 0.64).

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