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Scientific Papers

Estimating HRTF from pressure velocity measurements


Direct measurements of head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) with a microphone at the eardrum are unpleasant, risky, and unreliable and therefore have not been widely used. Instead, the HRTFs are commonly measured from the blocked ear canal entrance, which excludes the effects of the individual ear canals and eardrums.This paper presents a method that allows obtaining individually correct magnitude frequency responses of HRTFs at the eardrum from pressure–velocity (PU) measurements at the ear canal entrance with a miniature PU sensor.

The HRTFs of 25 test subjects with nine directions of sound incidence were estimated using real anechoic measurements and an energy-based estimation method. To validate the approach, measurements were also conducted with probe microphones near the eardrums as well as at blocked ear canal entrances. Comparisons between the different methods show that the method presented is a valid and reliable technique for obtaining magnitude frequency responses of HRTFs. The HRTF filters designed using the PU measurements are also shown to yield more correct frequency responses at the eardrum than the filters designed using measurements from the blocked ear canal entrance.


Hiipakka, M., Kinnari, T. and Pulkki, V., 2012. Estimating head-related transfer functions of human subjects from pressure–velocity measurements. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 131(5), pp.4051-4061.