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A Study on Personal Difference in the Transfer Functions of Sound Localization Using Stereo Earphones

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Out-of-head sound localization achieved via binaural earphones is indispensable for a virtual sound system. It is necessary to measure the two transfer functions of each subject, Spatial Sound Transfer Function (SSTF) and Ear Canal Transfer Function (ECTF), for achieving sound localization, and it is well known that the quality of sound localization may be poor if the individual transfer functions are not accurately reproduced. This is because each subject has his/her own transfer functions. It is very important to clarify which function includes more individual information, SSTF or ECTF, in order to implement a more simple model. Therefore, we introduced the quantity of "personal differences" for investigating the subject's transfer functions included in SSTF and ECTF. We measure the transfer functions SSTF and ECTF of 60 subjects in a soundproofed room, and analyze the data using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and three subjective assessment tests. As a result of this study, we found out that ECTF differs more widely from person to person than SSTF.

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