This turorial provides an introduction to head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) and their role in the synthesis of spatial sound over headphones. We define HRTFs and discuss how they provide spectral cues which reduce the ambiguity with which the classical duplex theory decodes a free-field sound's spatial location. We describe how HRTFs are measured and how they are typically used to synthesize spatialized sound. By comparing and contrasting representations of HRTFs in the time, frequency, and spatial domains, we highlight different analytic and signal processing techniques that have been used to investigate the structure of HRTFs.
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