Spectral manipulation improves elevation perception with non-individualized head-related transfer functions

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

1 Scopus Citations
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  • Vani G. Rajendran
  • Hannes Gamper

Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)EL222-EL228
Journal / PublicationJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
Online published12 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


Spatially rendering sounds using head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) is an important part of creating immersive audio experiences for virtual reality applications. However, elevation perception remains challenging when generic, non-personalized HRTFs are used. This study investigated whether digital audio effects applied to a generic set of HRTFs could improve sound localization in the vertical plane. Several of the tested effects significantly improved elevation judgment, and trial-by-trial variability in spectral energy between 2 and 10 kHz correlated strongly with perceived elevation. Digital audio effects may therefore be a promising strategy to improve elevation perception where personalized HRTFs are not available.