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Estimation of the Headphone "Openness" Based on Measurements of Pressure Division Ratio, Headphone Selection Criterion, and Acoustic Impedance

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The study presented here investigates and compares three different methods regarding their suitability for determining the relative openness of circumaural and supraaural headphone types, namely: (1) the Pressure Division Ratio (PDR), (2) the Headphone Selection Criterion (HPC), and the Acoustic Impedance Curve (AIC). Measurements were conducted by using a custom built acoustic impedance measuring tube and an artificial dummy head (KEMAR 45BC-12). The results show that the openness of headphones can be determined best by their low-frequency acoustic impedance curves. Estimations using PDR and HPC show large measurement variations especially in the low frequency range where the perceptual occlusion effect dominates. We introduce the Occlusion Index (OI) that characterizes well the acoustical “openness” and possibly can be used as a reliable indicator for the perceived headphone occlusion.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society