Material sound source localization through headphones

Autores UPV
Revista Acoustical Physics


In the present paper a study of sound localization is carried out, considering two different sounds emitted from different hit materials (wood and bongo) as well as a Delta sound. The motivation of this research is to study how humans localize sounds coming from different materials, with the purpose of a future implementation of the acoustic sounds with better localization features in navigation aid systems or training audio-games suited for blind people. Wood and bongo sounds are recorded after hitting two objects made of these materials. Afterwards, they are analysed and processed. On the other hand, the Delta sound (click) is generated by using the Adobe Audition software, considering a frequency of 44.1 kHz. All sounds are analysed and convolved with previously measured non-individual Head-Related Transfer Functions both for an anechoic environment and for an environment with reverberation. The First Choice method is used in this experiment. Subjects are asked to localize the source position of the sound listened through the headphones, by using a graphic user interface. The analyses of the recorded data reveal that no significant differences are obtained either when considering the nature of the sounds (wood, bongo, Delta) or their environmental context (with or without reverberation). The localization accuracies for the anechoic sounds are: wood 90.19%, bongo 92.96% and Delta sound 89.59%, whereas for the sounds with reverberation the results are: wood 90.59%, bongo 92.63% and Delta sound 90.91%. According to these data, we can conclude that even when considering the reverberation effect, the localization accuracy does not sig- nificantly increase. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd., 2012.