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On the Influence of Headphones on Localization of Loudspeaker Sources

When validating systems that use headphones to synthesize virtual sound sources, a direct comparison between virtual and real sources is sometimes needed. This paper presents objective and subjective measurements of the influence of headphones on external loudspeaker sources. Objective measurements of the effect of a number of headphone models are given and analyzed using an auditory filter bank and binaural cue extraction. Objective results highlight that all of the headphones had an effect on localization cues. A subjective localization test was undertaken using one of the best performing headphones from the measurements. It was found that the presence of the headphones caused a small increase in localization error but also that the process of judging source location was different, highlighting a possible increase in the complexity of the localization task.

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