The diffuse-field head-related transfer function can be used to equalize headphone binaural (dummy head) recordings and binaural synthesis filters in 3-D audio systems, in order to eliminate the effects of the transducers involved in the measurement or recording process. The advantages of diffuse-field equalization (compared to free-field equalization) in these different applications are reviewed and illustrated. Methods for estimating the diffuse-field HRTF from measurements on dummy heads or human subjects are examined. A practical in-situ measurement procedure is proposed and compared to traditional approaches requiring the use of an anechoic or a reverberant chamber. The results presented advocate for diffuse-field equalization of headphones, dummy heads and virtual 3-D audio displays, in order to ensure consistent playback over a wide population of listeners.
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