This engineering brief evaluates the effectiveness of VHAP (virtual hemispherical amplitude panning) as a tool to create virtual height loudspeakers for Dolby Atmos and Auro-3D 5.1.4 content. Previous studies showed that VHAP can effectively render elevated phantom images using only three or four ear-level loudspeakers. This study compared four reproduction systems (original 5.1.4, 5.1 downmix, 4ch-VHAP and 3ch-VHAP) in terms of sense of height, width, naturalness and overall quality of experience, using five excerpts from Dolby Atmos and Auro 3D 5.1.4 content of different types (film, classical and electronic). Results suggest that VHAP is able to create virtual height loudspeakers with no significant level of degradation, and for certain stimuli it can be preferred over the original 5.1.4.
Authors: Kacper Borzym (University of Huddersfield) and Hyunkook Lee (University of Huddersfield)