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Sensory evaluation study

· 2 min read
Alinka Greasley
Cadenza Team Member
Scott Bannister
Cadenza Team Member
Bruno Fazenda
Cadenza Team Member
Michael Akeroyd
Cadenza Team Member
William Whitmer
Cadenza Team Member

Here at Cadenza our sensory evaluation work to define audio quality for hearing impaired listeners is underway. We want to understand better how hearing-impaired listeners perceive audio quality in music and develop quality metrics that will subsequently be used by our listener panel to rate the systems submitted by challenge entrants. Through careful listening tasks and group discussion, the sensory panel will arrive at a consensus about important sound quality attributes and how these should be measured. You can find out more about this process on the Sensory Evaluation page.

The first task was an individual elicitation task in which we asked twelve listeners with hearing impairment to provide single-word perceptual terms to describe various music excerpts provided to them. This resulted in hundreds of unique attributes used to describe sound quality, of which 89 were used more than four times (see Fig. 1) and 87 were used two or three times (see Fig. 2). This provided the starting point for the first Focus group which sought to identify the most important attributes and to identify ways of grouping the attributes into perceptual dimensions that could be captured in the quality metric.

The outcome of Focus group one was a spatial mapping of the ways in which the panel grouped attributes together which was used as a starting point for Focus group two (see Fig. 3). The panel then discussed further the meaning and grouping of different terms to reach consensus about important dimensions. In February, we will carry out a third Focus group to arrive at final dimensions, how these can be defined, and how they can be rated or scored in the challenges.

We would like to thank our Sensory panel group for their ongoing motivation and commitment with this challenging task!

Figure 1, 89 terms that were used four or more times to describe the musical excerpts.
Figure 2, 87 terms that were used twice or three times to describe the musical excerpts.
Figure 3, starting point for focus group two, discussing the further meaning and grouping of different terms.