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Audibility of Differences in Adjacent Head-Related Transfer Functions

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The smallest directional change that can reliably be perceived provides a useful measure to assess the required spatial resolution for virtual spatial sound. Here, the ability of naive listeners to discriminate changes in the characteristics of HRTFs was measured. In one experiment the smallest angular separation needed to discriminate between the magnitude spectrum of HRTFs was determined. In a second experiment the smallest change in interaural time difference (ITD) that could just be audible was determined. Generic HRTFs were used for both experiments. Results showed a large inter-subject variability, which was particularly pronounced for discrimination of changes in ITD. Mean thresholds for changes in ITD ranged from 87.8 to 163 s. Mean thresholds for discrimination of spectral differences ranged from 2.4 to 11°, and significant differences were found depending on the direction of change. Results suggest that ITDs do not seem to require very high resolutions, and that spatial resolution for spectral characteristics is not uniform meaning that different resolutions are needed depending on sound direction.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: November 1, 2008

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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