The use of “lossy” audio compression is becoming increasingly common. Many studies have concentrated on the audio quality of such compression techniques, predominantly in a monaural context. This study investigates the effects of audio compression techniques on spatialized audio, specifically binaural audio. Various compression techniques (AAC, ATRAC, MP2, and MP3) using various bitrates when possible have been applied to several test signals. This work presents numerical and perceptive comparisons of the variations in inter-aural time difference (ITD) due to audio compression techniques. Some investigations were also made concerning the effect on spectral peaks and notches, as these spectral cues (contained in the Head-Related Transfer Function, HRTF) are necessary for more precise localization including front-back discrimination and elevation.
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