Virtual audio has great potential for conveying spatial information and could be applied to advantage in several environments. Previously implemented virtual audio systems, however, have been shown to be less than perfect with respect to front'back confusion rate and average localization error. A system from this laboratory has been evaluated by comparing, for three participants, virtual and free-field localization performance across a wide range of sound-source locations. For each participant, virtual localization was found to be as good as free-field localization, as measured by both frontback confusion rate and average localization error. The feasibility of achieving free-field equivalent localization of virtual audio should encourage the more widespread use of this relatively new technology.
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