Headphones are commonly used in noisy environments. Insert headphones attenuate and color the spectra of ambient sounds and thus alter the auditory perception. When the ambient sounds are desirable, a hear-through function can be used to reproduce them naturally while wearing headphones, i.e. to make the headphones acoustically transparent. A novel adaptive hear-through algorithm is proposed, which estimates the isolation and fine-tunes the hear-though equalization for optimal acoustic transparency. Measurements on a prototype headset and simulations show that the proposed algorithm produces acoustic transparency with default settings when the fit is good, and that the adaptation improves the transparency by up to 6 dB when the headset is poorly fitted. Volume control with additional shelving filter adjustments reduces the comb-filtering effect at frequencies below 1 kHz. The proposed algorithm is a suitable premise for augmented reality audio applications and offers improved behavior when compared to fixed hear-through systems.
Click to purchase paper as a non-member or login as an AES member. If your company or school subscribes to the E-Library then switch to the institutional version. If you are not an AES member and would like to subscribe to the E-Library then Join the AES!
This paper costs $33 for non-members and is free for AES members and E-Library subscribers.