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This paper analyses the performance of Differential Head-Related Transfer Function (DHRTF), an alternative transfer function for headphone-based virtual sound source positioning within a horizontal plane. This experimental one-channel function is used to reduce processing and avoid timbre affection while preserving signal features important for sound localisation. The use of positioning algorithm employing the DHRTF is compared to two other common positioning methods: amplitude panning and HRTF processing. Results of theoretical comparison and quality assessment of the methods by subjective listening tests are presented. The tests focus on distinctive aspects of the positioning methods: spatial impression, timbre affection, and loudness fluctuations. The results show that the DHRTF positioning method is applicable with very promising performance; it avoids perceptible channel coloration that occurs within the HRTF method, and it delivers spatial impression more successfully than the simple amplitude panning method.
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