The required number of head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) is determined by audible differences in the spectral characteristics as a function of separation angle. The experiment tested the ability of subjects to discriminate between changes in the minimum-phase HRTF while the interaural time difference remained constant. Subjects were able to discriminate spectral differences over a range of 3 to 17 degrees depending on the spatial locations being represented. The thresholds for detectable change in polar angle were consistently lower than changes in lateral angle. Due to the variation of the threshold, the choices of reference angles for HRTF measurements need not be uniform over the sphere.
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