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Importance of the acquisition accuracy of various pinna regions on the median-plane sound-localisation performance

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Head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) represent an essential part in the personalisation of spatial-audio repro-duction over headphones. For frequency regions above 4 kHz, the spectral filtering of the pinna is responsible for the personalisation of an HRTF. In this study, we applied systematic modifications to the pinna geometry of the meshes of ten listeners in order to determine which anatomic regions significantly affect HRTFs on an acoustic level and by means of localisation errors. HRTFs calculated from the modified geometries showed significant spectral differences but only negligible differences in localisation errors predicted by an auditory model for median-plane sound localisation. For example, the backside of the pinna affected the HRTFs in the spectral domain, but did not contribute to localisation errors in the perceptual domain. Our results have implications on future geometry acquisition methods, showing which parts of a pinna do not necessarily need to be captured accurately in order to yield plausible personalised HRTFs by means of localisation errors.

Express Paper 64; AES Convention 154; May 2023
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