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Virtual Sources and Moving Targets

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This paper presents an analysis of the effects of listener mobility on the stability of virtual source images created by a pair of speakers. A spherical head is used to generate analytic head related transfer functions from which we create a simple perceptual localisation model for the forward half of the horizontal plane. This model is then used to investigate changes in perceived source localisation as the listener moves. The analysis demonstrates that even with this simple model, and the assumption of small listener movements, the source image becomes unstable at a relatively low frequency. Given that for such low frequencies the spherical head model is a reasonable approximation of measured HRTFs, this work suggests that individualised HRTF and pinnae functions are of little benefit when designing a virtualizer system that allows for some listener mobility.

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