The relative impact of generic head-related transfer functions and signal bandwidth on auditory localization: Implications for the design of three-dimensional audio displays


  1. Arrabito, G.R.
  2. Mendelson, J.R.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN);Toronto Univ, Toronto ONT (CAN) Dept of Speech-Language Pathology
Virtual auditory technology is being considered to cue armoured vehicle or air crew, via headphones of the communication system, to the spatial locations of potential lethal threats. Auditory localization in virtual auditory space (VAS) on the horizontal plane was investigated in this paper as a function of seven generic head-related transfer functions (i.e., digital filters for synthesizing the location of a sound in VAS), signal bandwidth (low-pass 3 kHz, high-pass 3 kHz and low-pass 14 kHz), and listening environment (quiet and in the presence of diffuse ambient Leopard tank noise). Testing was also conducted in the free-field which partially served to psychoacoustically validate the VAS conditions. The outcome of this preliminary study performance was not significantly affected by type of generic head-related transfer function. Localization accuracy using the broadband stimulus was not significantly better than with the low-pass 3 kHz stimulus. Performance in the quiet condition was relatively better than in the noise condition. The implications of these results for implementation of a 3-D audio display into military environments and recommendations for future research are discussed.
Spatial Auditory Display;HRTF (Head Related Transfer Functions);3-D auditory display;Sound localization;Virtual auditory space
Report Number
DCIEM-TR-2000-067 — Technical Report
Date of publication
01 Dec 2000
Number of Pages
Hardcopy;Document Image stored on Optical Disk

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