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The influence of headphones on the localisation of external loudspeaker sources

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Publication details

JournalJournal of the Audio Engineering Society
DateAccepted/In press - 2015
DatePublished (current) - 2015
Issue number10
Number of pages12
Pages (from-to)799-810
Original languageEnglish


When validating systems that use headphones to synthesise virtual sound
sources, a direct comparison between virtual and real sources is sometimes needed. This paper considers the passive influence of headphones on the sound transmission and perception of external loudspeaker sources, for which physical measurements and behavioral data have been obtained. Physical measurements of the effect of a number of headphone models are given and analysed using an auditory filter bank and binaural cue extraction. These highlighted that all of the headphones had an effect on localisation cues and repositioning had a measurable effect. A localisation test was undertaken using one of the best performing headphones from the measurements. It was found that
the presence of the headphones caused a small increase in localisation error and that the process of judging source location was different, highlighting a possible increase in the complexity of the localisation task.

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