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On the Study of Frontal-Emitter Headphone to Improve 3-D Audio Playback

Virtual audio synthesis and playback through headphones by its virtue have several limitations, such as the front-back confusion and in-head localization of the sound presented to the listener. Use of non-individual head related transfer functions (HRTFs) further increases these front-back confusion and degrades the virtual auditory image. In this paper we present a method for customizing non-individual HRTFs by embedding personal cues using the distinctive morphology of the individual’s ear. In this paper we study the frontal projection of sound using headphones to reduce the front-back confusion in 3-D audio playback. Additional processing blocks, such as decorrelation and front-back biasing are implemented to externalize and control the auditory depth of the frontal image. Subjective tests are conducted using these processing blocks, and its impact to localization is reported in this paper.

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