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Evaluation of the effect of head-mounted display on individualized head-related transfer functions

Research Area: Year: 2019
Type of Publication: In Proceedings Keywords: 3D-audio,Head-related transfer function
Authors: Cuevas-Rodríguez, María; Lou Alon, David; W Clapp, Samuel; W Robinson, Philip
Book title: Proceeding of the 23rd International Congress on Acoustic, ICA2019
Pages: 2635-2642
Month: Septiembre
Head Mounted Displays (HMDs) have become popular for acoustic experiments, such as perceptual comparison of virtual and real sound sources, or Head Related Transfer Function (HRTF) measurement. However, wearing an HMD while listening to real sound sources modifies the sound waves that reaches the listener's ears. In this work, we study the effect of HMDs on individualized HRTFs. We have collected acoustic HRTF measurements, with and without the HMD, from 24 human participants and a manikin head, over 612 directions (including different azimuth and elevation angles). An objective evaluation indicates that, although there are frequency-dependent directional regions where the distortion caused by the HMD is higher, other regions are less affected by the HMD. A MUSHRA test with 15 subjects compares individualized HRTFs and a generic HRTF, measured with and without HMD. The perceptual evaluation reveals a significant effect of the HMD on the measured individualized HRTF, but it also shows that this effect is significantly smaller than the difference between individualized HRTFs and a generic HRTF, as indicated by the objective evaluation. This implies that, although distorted by the presence of the HMD, some of the individualized HRTF characteristics might be preserved when the HMD is worn.

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