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Audibility of High Q-Factor All-Pass Components in Head-Related Transfer Functions

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Head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) can be decomposed into minimum phase, linear phase and all-pass components. It is known that low Q-factor all-pass sections in HRTFs are audible as lateral shifts when the interaural group delay at low frequencies is above 30 microseconds. The goal of our investigation is to test the audibility of high Q-factor all-pass components in HRTFs and the perceptual consequences of removing them. A three-alternative forced choice experiment has been conducted. Results suggest that high Q-factor all-pass sections are audible when presented alone, but inaudible when presented with their minimum phase HRTF counterpart. It is concluded that high Q-factor all-pass sections can be discarded in HRTFs used for binaural synthesis.

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