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Perceptual Evaluation of Headphone Compensation in Binaural Synthesis Based on Non-Individual Recordings

The headphone transfer function (HpTF) is a major source of spectral coloration observable in binaural synthesis. Filters for frequency response compensation can be derived from measured HpTFs. Therefore, we developed a method for measuring HpTFs reliably at the blocked ear canal. Subsequently, we compared non-individual dynamic binaural simulations based on recordings from a head and torso simulator (HATS) directly to reality, assessing the effect of non-individual, generic, and individual headphone compensation in listening tests. Additionally, we tested improvements of the regularization scheme of an LMS inversion algorithm, the effect of minimum phase inverse filters, and the reproduction of low frequencies by a subwoofer. Results suggest that while using non-individual binaural recordings the HpTF of the individual used for the recordings – typically a HATS – should be used for headphone compensation.

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JAES Volume 60 Issue 1/2 pp. 54-62; January 2012
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AES - Audio Engineering Society