The importance of head movements for binaural room synthesis
Olesen, Soren Krarup
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The contribution of head movements to sound localisation of loudspeakers in a listening room was investigated. An experiment was done where listeners either were requested to keep their heads still while sound was being presented or were allowed to move freely while seated on a chair. The results give an indication of how well listeners can perform the task and what contribution head movements has. The same localisation task was performed while listeners were presented with a simulation of the loudspeakers implemented by means of binaural synthesis. As in the ``real life'' case listeners either had to sit still or were allowed to move their heads. The binaural synthesis was implemented by means of measured binaural room impulse responses (BRIRs), for which the direct sound was updated according to the head position of the listener. Pilot experiments showed that localisation generally improves when head movements are allowed, compared to when listeners keep their heads still during sound presentations. This encouraging result lead to the design of a full-scale experiment that is currently under way. The results will be reported at the ICAD2000 conference.