When validating systems that use headphones to synthesise virtual sound sources, a direct comparison between virtual and real sources is sometimes needed. This paper presents objective and subjective measurements of the influence of headphones on external loudspeaker sources. Objective measurements of the effect of a number of headphone models are given and analysed using an auditory filter bank and binaural cue extraction. Objective results highlight that all of the headphones had an effect on localisation cues. A subjective localisation test was undertaken using one of the best performing headphones from the measurements. It was found that the presence of the headphones caused a small increase in localisation error but also that the process of judging source location was different, highlighting a possible increase in the complexity of the localisation task.

This work was presented at the 135th Audio Engineering Society Convention in New York on 17th October 2013. Mr Satongar and Professor Lam are affiliated with the University of Salford and Mr Tew is affiliated with the University of York.

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