The Effects of Individualized Binaural Room Transfer Functions for Personal Sound Zones

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The extent to which the performance of personal sound zone (PSZ) reproduction systems is impacted by the individualization of Binaural Room Transfer Functions (BRTFs) and the coupling between the listeners’ BRTFs was investigated experimentally. Such knowledge can be valuable for deriving rules for the design of high-performance, robust PSZ systems. The performance of a PSZ system consisting of eight frontal mid-range loudspeakers was objectively evaluated with PSZ filters designed using individualized BRTFs of a human listener and generic ones measured from a mannequin head, in terms of Inter-Zone Isolation, Inter-Program Isolation, and robustness against slight head misalignments. It was found that when no misalignments were introduced, Inter-Zone Isolation and Inter-Program Isolation are improved by an average of around 4 dB at all frequencies between 200 and 7,000 Hz by the individualized filters, compared to the generic ones. With constrained head misalignments, the robustness of both filters decreases as the frequency increases, and although the individualized filters maintain higher performance, their robustness above 2 kHz is lower than that of the generic ones. The evaluation also reveals an inter-listener BRTF coupling effect and a detrimental impact on the performance for both listeners when a single listener’s BRTF is mismatched.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)849-859
Number of pages11
JournalAES: Journal of the Audio Engineering Society
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • Music


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