The effect of generic headphone compensation on binaural renderings

Audio Engineering Society (AES)

By: Isaac Engel, David Lou Alon, Philip Robinson, Ravish Mehra


Binaural rendering allows us to reproduce auditory scenes through headphones while preserving spatial cues. The best results are achieved if the headphone effect is compensated with an individualized filter, which depends on the headphone transfer function, ear morphology and fitting. However, due to the high complexity of remeasuring a new filter every time the user repositions the headphone, generic compensation may be of interest. In this study, the effects of generic headphone equalization in binaural rendering are evaluated objectively and subjectively, with respect to unequalized and individually-equalized cases. Results show that generic headphone equalization yields perceptual benefits similar to individual equalization for non-individual binaural renderings, and it increases overall quality, reduces coloration, and improves distance perception compared to unequalized renderings.