Beamforming is a type of audio array processing techniques used for interference reduction, sound source localization, and as pre-processing stage for audio event classification and speaker identification. The auditory scene analysis community can benefit from a systemic evaluation and comparison between different beamforming techniques. In this paper, five popular beamforming techniques are evaluated in two different acoustic environments, while varying the number of microphones, the number of interferences, and the direction-of-arrival error, by using the Acoustic Interactions for Robot Audition (AIRA) corpus and a common software framework. Additionally, a highly efficient phase-based frequency masking beamformer is also evaluated, which is shown to outperform all five techniques. Both the evaluation corpus and the beamforming implementations are freely available and provided for experiment repeatability and transparency. Raw results are also provided as a complement to this work to the reader, to facilitate an informed decision of which technique to use. Finally, the insights and tendencies observed from the evaluation results are presented.
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