Simplified head shapes, such as spheres and ellipsoids have been applied in the research of head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). However, the effects of the missing head shape features in the simplified head models have not been thoroughly examined. In this paper, head shapes are represented using spherical harmonics, which allows shape simplifications to be carried out in a controlled and systematic way. The KEMAR head shape was lowpassed to different degrees and the errors in both the head shape and acoustic pressures introduced by the lowpass filters were studied. The influence on the HRTFs of head shape features remote from the ears, with particular reference to the nose, are discussed.
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