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Localization of Virtual Sounds in Dynamic Listening Using Sparse HRTFs

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Reproduction of virtual sound sources that are perceptually indistinguishable from real-world sounds is impossible without accurate representation of the virtual sound source location. A key component in such a reproduction system is the Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF), which is different for every individual. In this study, we introduce an experimental setup for accurate evaluation of the localization performance using a spatial sound reproduction system in dynamic listening conditions. The setup offers the possibility of comparing the evaluation results with real-world localization performance, and facilitates testing of different virtual reproduction conditions, such as different HRTFs or different representations and interpolation methods of the HRTFs. Localization experiments are conducted, comparing real-world sound sources with virtual sound sources using high-resolution individual HRTFs, sparse individual HRTFs and a generic HRTF.

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Perception of direct sound, early reflections, andreverberation in auralizations of sparsely measuredbinaural room impulse responses

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Binaural auralization applying binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs) requires a high measurement effort and immense computing capacity when rendered with maximum spatial resolution. In this study, we conducted an adaptive ABX listening test to determine the minimum grid resolution (i.e., the spatial resolution) of BRIRs sufficient to achieve an auralization indistinguishable from an auralization of BRIRs with maximum grid resolution. The sparse BRIR sets were calculated by spatial subsampling of dense BRIR sets in the spherical harmonics (SH)-domain. We determined perceptual thresholds separately for the direct sound, early rejections, and reverberation for four different measured rooms. The results show that whereas the direct sound requires a grid resolution corresponding to an SH order of 9 to 13, the early rejections and the reverberation can be reduced significantly to the SH order 4.

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Coherence-Adaptive Binaural Cue Adaptation

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The recently proposed Binaural Cue Adaptation approach aims to adapt binaural signals to listener head movements during headphone playback, so that sound sources appear fixed in space instead of to the head. Unlike other methods, it is applicable to pre-rendered signals or binaural recordings acquired using artificial heads or on-ear microphones. This contribution introduces an improved version of the original algorithm with explicit consideration of signal coherence. Since the human auditory system perceives coherent and incoherent signals differently, this is expected to improve the subjective quality of the output signals.

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On the Measurement of Perceived Lateral Angle Using Eye Tracking

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The quality of binaural reproduction of virtual sound sources is often investigated using auditory localization experiments. An alternative method of collecting listener localization responses to spatial audio stimuli using an eye tracking system built into an AR headset is presented. To validate the method, an experimental procedure is proposed, which includes collection of gaze pattern data in response to binaural signals varying in interaural time and level differences. Additionally, the collected data is compared against data obtained using a visual pointer adjustment as well as data obtained from individual and generic HRTF sets. The preliminary results suggest that the use of eye tracking for auditory localization experiments might be a time efficient and precise testing method for binaural audio.

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Listener-Preferred Headphone Frequency Response for Stereo and Spatial Audio Content

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When spatial audio content is presented over headphones, the audio signal is typically filtered with binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs). An accurate virtual auditory space presentation can be achieved by flattening the headphones’ frequency response. However, when presenting stereo music over headphones, previous studies have shown that listeners prefer headphones with a frequency response that simulates loudspeakers in a listening room. It is as yet unclear if headphones that are calibrated in such a way will be preferred by listeners in the context of spatial audio content as well. This study investigates how listeners’ preferences for headphone frequency response may differ between stereo audio content and spatial audio content, which was rendered by convolving the same stereo content with in-situ-measured BRIRs of loudspeakers in a room.

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Quantifying HRTF Spectral Magnitude Precision in Spatial Computing Applications

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In this paper, an algorithmic approach towards computing quantifiable metrics regarding HRTF spectral magnitude synthesis performance of virtual sound systems, such as those used in VR/AR/MR environments, is presented. Utilizing regularized regression in parallel with a statistical information theory technique, the system provides a detailed analysis of a virtual spatializer’s spectral magnitude rendering accuracy at a given point in space. Applying the proposed system to the final signal processing stage of a spatial audio rendering pipeline enables the engineer to establish critical performance quantities for benchmarking future modifications to the rendering channel against. The proposed system demonstrates an important step towards standardizing and automating virtual audio system evaluation and may ultimately act as a participant substitute during critical listening tasks.

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Anthropometric Features Estimation Using Integrated Sensors on a Headphone for HRTF Personalization

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Personalization of HRTF is essential for spatial sound rendering, for which a possible solution is based on one or more anthropological measures of the subject. Measuring these anthropometrics seamlessly, accurately and reliably is still a challenge. In this paper, we propose a system for obtaining anthropometric measurements, suitable for HRTF personalization, directly from a high-end headphone. The proposed system is multimodal and leverages existing sensors to extract features related to listener’s head dimensions. We propose three signal processing methodologies for three modalities of sensors and a fusion algorithm to aggregate these extracted features for a robust anthropometry estimation. To verify the design we use a data set, collected from 35 subjects. The proposed algorithm achieves a low error (RMSE) of 0.58 - 1.21 cm for human anthropometry estimation.

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Binaural Reproduction using Bilateral Ambisonics

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Binaural reproduction plays an important role in virtual and augmented reality applications. The rendering of binaural signals using Spherical-Harmonics (SH) representation gives the flexibility to control the reproduced binaural signals, by using algorithms that operate directly in the SH domain. However, in most practical cases, the binaural reproduction is order-limited, which introduces truncation error that has a detrimental effect on the perception of the reproduced signals. A recent study showed that pre-processing of the Head-Related Transfer Function (HRTF) by ear-alignment reduces its effective SH order. In this paper, a method to incorporate the ear-aligned HRTF into the binaural reproduction process using a new Ambisonics representation of the sound field formulated at the two ears, denoted here as Bilateral Ambisonics, is presented. Application of this method yields a significant improvement in the perceived audio quality of order-limited binaural signals.

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Enhancement of Ambisonics Signals using time-frequency masking

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Spatial audio is an essential part of virtual reality. Unlike synthesized signals, spatial audio captured in the real world may suffer from background noise which degrades the quality of the signals. While some previous works have addressed this problem, and suggested methods to attenuate the undesired signals while preserving the desired signals with minimum distortion, these only succeed partially. Recently, methods aiming to achieve preservation of the desired signal in its entirety have been proposed, and in this work we study such methods that are based on time-frequency masking. Two masks were investigated: one in the spherical harmonics (SH) domain, and the other in the plane wave density (PWD) function domain, referred to here as the spatial domain. These two methods were compared with a low-end reference method that uses a single maximum directivity beamformer followed by a single channel time-frequency mask. A subjective investigation was conducted to estimate the performance of these methods, and showed that the spatial mask preserves the desired sound field better, while the SH mask preserves the spatial cues of the residual noise better.

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Translation of a Higher-Order Ambisonics Sound Scene by Space Warping

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We propose a novel approach for sound field translation of higher-order Ambisonics with applications in spatial audio and virtual reality. Our proposition is based on space warping allowing to change the origin of a sound field representation even for displacements beyond the sweet spot. The basic idea is to squeeze and stretch the angular source distribution according to a geometric model with known source distance. We propose to resign from correct phase reconstruction in favor of optimizing towards psychoacoustically motivated performance indicators. Furthermore, we show how an existing sound field method can be related to the empiric mathematical framework of space warping. In an experiment with different translation techniques, our approach achieves superior performance in terms of different instrumental metrics.

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                 Search Results (Displaying 1-10 of 21 matches)
AES - Audio Engineering Society