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Identification and Evaluation of Target Curves for Headphones

Generally, loudspeakers are designed to have a flat frequency response. For headphones there is no consensus about the optimal transfer function and equalization. In this study several equalization strategies were tested on commercially available headphones. The headphones were measured on an artificial head and equalization filters were designed in the frequency domain consisting of two parts: The first part of the filter is specific to each headphone, flattening the magnitude response of the headphone at the entrance of the blocked ear-canal. The second part of the filter is generic target curve for headphones. Different target curves were tested on the three headphones during a formal listening test using binaural signals. A target curve designed by expert listeners comparing loudspeaker with binaural headphone reproduction was preferred.

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