Sonic Localization Cues for Classrooms: A Structural Model Proposal

We investigate sonic cues for binaural sound localization within classrooms and present a structural model for the same. Two of the primary cues for localization, interaural time difference (ITD) and interaural level difference (ILD) created between the two ears by sounds from a particular point in space, are used. Although these cues do not lend any information about the elevation of a sound source, the torso, head, and outer ear carry out elevation dependent spectral filtering of sounds before they reach the inner ear. This effect is commonly captured in head related transfer function (HRTF) which aids in resolving the ambiguity from the ITDs and ILDs alone and helps localize sounds in free space. The proposed structural model of HRTF produces well controlled horizontal as well as vertical effects. The implemented HRTF is a signal processing model which tries to mimic the physical effects of the sounds interacting with different parts of the body. The effectiveness of the method is tested by synthesizing spatial audio, in MATLAB, for use in listening tests with human subjects and is found to yield satisfactory results in comparison with existing models.