The ear and brain perceive the vertical position of sounds by matching the timbre detected at the eardrum of a listener to timbre patterns built up by that individual over a long period of time. But the eardrum timbre depends dramatically on ear canal resonances between 1000 Hz and 6000 Hz that boost the pressure at the eardrum as much as 20 dB. These resonances are highly individual and are either eliminated or altered by headphones. In-head localization is the result. We have developed an app that uses an equal-loudness procedure to measure and restore the natural timbre. Accurate timbre and frontal localization are then perceived without head-tracking, and binaural recordings can be stunningly realistic.
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