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Impact of Equalizing Ear Canal Transfer Function on Out-of-Head Sound Localization

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Several papers have pointed out that the frequency characteristics of the ear canal transfer functions (ECTFs) depend on headphone type, ear placement position of headphones, and subject's ear canal shape/volume. However, the effect of these factors on creating out-of-head sound localization has not been sufficiently clarified. The purpose of this paper is to clarify this effect. Sound localization tests using several types of headphones are performed in three conditions; listener's (individualized) ECTFs, HATS's (non-individualized) ECTFs, and omitted ECTFs. The results show that employing the individualized ECTFs generally yields accurate localization, while omitting the use of ECTFs increase the horizontal average localization error in ccordance with the type of headphone employed.

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