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The Performance of A Personal Sound Zone System with Generic and Individualized Binaural Room Transfer Functions

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The performance of a two-listener personal sound zone (PSZ) system consisting of eight frontal mid-range loud-speakers in a listening room was evaluated for the case where the PSZ filters were designed with the individualized BRTFs of a human listener, and compared to the case where the filters were designed using the generic BRTFs of a dummy head. The PSZ filters were designed using the pressure matching method and the PSZ performance was quantified in terms of measured Acoustic Contrast (AC) and robustness against slight head misalignments. It was found that, compared to the generic PSZ filters, the individualized ones significantly improve AC at all frequencies (200-7000 Hz) by an average of 5.3 dB and a maximum of 9.4 dB, but are less robust against head misalignments above 2 kHz with a maximum degradation of 3.6 dB in average AC. Even with this degradation, the AC spectrum of the individualized filters remains above that of their generic counterparts. Furthermore, using generic BRTFs for one listener was found to be enough to degrade the AC for both listeners, implicating a coupling effect between the listeners’ BRTFs.

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