Localization Accuracy

Our ability to detect changes in localization or lateralization is not absolute. Experimentally, it is measured as the minimum audible angle, but is also called localization blur. The minimum audible angle can be determined for both horizontal and vertical directions. Spatially, our most acute sense of localization is directly in front (0° azimuth). In fact, in that position we have a maximum accuracy of 1 degree. Localization blur does vary with signal parameters, and more typical frontal accuracy is within 5 degrees. The minimum audible angle increases as sounds are moved towards the axis of the ears, where it reaches an overall maximum of +/-10 degrees.

Visual localisation is just as accurate, but not nearly as efficient and not possible in low or reduced light situations, or when the source of the sound cannot be visualized.

Horizontal source location: Accurate horizontal localization is possible ONLY when the relevant acoustic cues are clearly audible in BOTH EARS Vertical source location: Front back localization: In addition to the audio cues: Head movement Non acoustic cues may also contribute Comparison with stored patterns

Effect of hearing loss on sound localisation

Unilateral hearing loss Monaural localization Effect of noise on source location

See also: Binaural, Interaural Cross-Correlation Coefficient, Interaural Level Difference.

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Subjects: Audio Noise & Vibration


Weblinks:
Introduction to Computer Music: An Acoustics Primer An introduction to acoustics for musicians - a well written clear introduction.