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Ear Shape Modeling for 3D Audio and Acoustic Virtual Reality: The Shape-Based Average HRTF

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In this paper, we present a method for modeling human ear shapes, and particularly, a method for obtaining a generic non-individualized head-related transfer function (HRTF), based on the arithmetic mean of human ear shapes. The average HRTF is calculated from this average human ear shape with the boundary element method (BEM). The obtained average HRTF is evaluated by subjective experiments, revealing improved localization precision over a HRTF calculated from the shape of a mannequin head. Our approach does not require any measurements of HRTFs of the listener or selections of fitting HRTFs from a predefined database, and thus it can be practically utilized in any 3D audio or acoustic virtual reality application which makes use of HRTFs, such as virtual auditory displays or virtual 3D audio rendering in 3D gaming.

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