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Individualization of Binaural Synthesis Using Frontal Projection Headphones

Non-individualized head related transfer functions (HRTF) limit the spatial accuracy of conventional side projection headphones. This research explores the use of a frontal projection headphone, which customizes the HRTF by introducing idiosyncratic pinna cues. In addition, a robust headphone equalization technique is recommended for frontal projection headphone playback to preserve the embedded personal pinna cues. Perceptual experiments validated the effectiveness of frontal headphone playback over the conventional headphones with reduced front-back confusions and improved frontal localization. It was also observed that the individual spectral cues created by the frontal projection are sufficient for front-back discrimination even with the high frequency pinna cues removed from the non-individual HRTF.

JAES Volume 61 Issue 12 pp. 989-1000; December 2013
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AES - Audio Engineering Society