Estimation of asymmetry in Head Related Transfer Functions

Maciej Jasiński, Jan Żera


The individual Head-Related Transfer Functions (HRTFs) typically show large left-right ear differences. This work evaluates HRTF left-right differences by means of the rms measure called the Root Mean Square Difference (RMSD). The RMSD was calculated for HRTFs measured with the participation of a group of 15 subjects in our laboratory, for the HRTFs taken from the LISTEN database and for the acoustic manikin. The results showed that the RMSD varies in relation to the frequency and as expected is small for more symmetrical HRTFs at low frequencies (0.3÷1 kHz). For higher frequency bands (1÷5 kHz and above 5 kHz), the left-right differences are higher as an effect of the complex filtering caused by anatomical shape of the head and the pinnae. Results obtained for the subjects and for data taken from the LISTEN database were similar, whereas different for the acoustic manikin. This means that measurements with the use of the manikin cannot be considered as perfect average representation of the results obtained for people. The method and results of this study may be useful in assessing the symmetry of the HRTFs, and further analysis and improvement of how to considered the HRTFs individualization and personalization algorithms.

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