TU Berlin

Fachgebiet AudiokommunikationWhisPER. Listening Test Toolbox for Matlab.

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WhisPER. A MATLAB-based software package for performing listening tests.

The WhisPER project

WhisPER is a Matlab® based software package for performing experiments in the field of perceptual audio evaluation and psychoacoustic measurement.  It was originally developed by and in the course of graduate theses at the audio communication group.

WhisPER provides

  • a selection of popular quantitative and qualitative listening test procedures,
  • a modular structure allowing convenient future extensions,
  • a GUI system easily accessible to experimenters without advanced programming skills, and
  • the ability to control complex sound reproduction environments utilizing the OpenSound Control (OSC) protocol.

WhisPER will be further developed by the audio communication group. Future work might include evaluation as well as upgrades by new test paradigms. Any questions about WhisPER can be directed to Alexander Lindau or Fabian Brinkmann.

Current features

Implemented test methods

Currently (whisPER version 1.9.0) the following test methods are available:

  • Adaptive psychophysical methods for threshold seeking: Staircase, PEST, More Virulent PEST, ML/Bayesian procedure, QUEST, ZEST, all methods may be applied using an n-alternative-forced-choice (nAFC) paradigm for n=2,3 or 4,
  • Repertory Grid Test,
  • Semantic Differential Test,
  • ABX Detection Test,
  • a dedicated test featuring the Spatial Audio Quality Inventory (SAQI-EN, SAQI-GER), a test for the differentiated perceptual assessement of Virtual Acoustic Environments,
  • ITU-R Rec. BS.1534-1 (MUSHRA-Test), and the
  • ITU-R Rec. BS.1116-1 (ABC/HR-Test).

Playback control

There are two possible ways for playback of acoustic stimuli:

  • playing 2-channel .wav files using the audio interface of your local worksation, or
  • remote controlling playback environments by sending up to 6 OSC commands per stimulus.

System requirements:

  • 32 and 64-bit versions of Windows 7 (there is rumour that whisPER will also run under Mac OS)
  • MATLAB version 7 or higher;
  • Display resolution of at least 1280x800 pixels.


WhisPER is free software published under the GNU license.

The current version may be downloaded from the TU Berlin's digital repository DepositOnce at


The project features an extensive user's manual (English) which should be consulted before using the program.

Note further that evaluation and testing of WhisPER has not yet been entirely completed. If you notice any bugs please report them to us so that we will be able to fix them.


Ciba S, Wlodarski A, Maempel H-J (2009): "WhisPER - A new tool for performing listening tests", in: Proc. of the 126th AES Convention, Munich, Paper 7749 [download]

Lindau A; Erbes V; Lepa S; Maempel H-J; Brinkmann F; Weinzierl S (2014): "A Spatial Audio Quality Inventory for Virtual Acoustic Environments (SAQI)", in: Acta Acustica united with Acustica, 100(5): 984-994 dx.doi.org/10.3813/AAA.918778





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