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Binaural Spatialization over a Bone Conduction Headset: The Perception of Elevation

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Binaural spatialization over a bone conduction headset in the vertical plane was investigated using inexpensive and commercially available hardware and software components. The aim of the study was to assess the acuity of binaurally spatialized presentations in the vertical plane. The level of externalization achievable was also explored. Results demonstrate good correlation between established perceptual traits for headphone based auditory localization using non-individualized HRTFs, though localization accuracy appears to be significant worse. A distinct pattern of compressed localization judgments is observed with participants tending to localize the presented stimulus within an approximately 20° range on either side of the inter-aural plane. Localization error was approximately 21° in the vertical plane. Participants reported a good level of externalization. We’ve been able to demonstrate an acceptable level of spatial resolution and externalization is achievable using an inexpensive bone conduction headset and software components.

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