SYDNEY-YORK MORPHOLOGICAL AND
RECORDING OF EARS DATABASE (SYMARE)

The result of collaboration between the Universities of York and Sydney for over ten years, the SYMARE database supports research exploring the relationship between the morphology of human outer ears and their acoustic filtering properties - a relationship that is viewed by many as holding the key to human spatial hearing and the future of 3D personal audio.

The SYMARE database is comprised of acoustically measured head-related impulse responses (HRIRs) for 61 listeners (48 male/13 female), multiple high-resolution surface mesh models (upper torso, head and ears) for these listeners obtained from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data, and the corresponding simulated HRIR data generated using the Fast-Multipole Boundary Element Method (FM-BEM).

Download or explore the SYMARE database

Data is available for ten subjects here

About the database contents

The SYMARE database is comprised of two types of data: morphological data (meshes) and acoustic data (HRIR filters).

Morphological data

For each of the 61 subjects in the database, high-resolution (sub-millimeter) surface meshes are provided of: (1) the head and ears; (2) the head, upper torso and ears; (3) the head and upper torso (no ears); and (4) the separated left and right ears. Examples of these meshes are shown below.

    

As well, the database provide lower resolution meshes suitable for BEM simulations up to 4 kHz, 8 kHz, 12 kHz, 16 kHz and 20 kHz. Below are shown: a) a mesh of the head and ears suitable for BEM simulations up to 12 kHz (left); and b) a mesh of the head, torso and ears suitable for BEM simulations up to 8 kHz (right).

      

Acoustic data

For each of the 61 subjects in the database, Head Related Impulse Response filters (HRIRs) are provided for 393 directions in space (shown below), which corresponds to an effective resolution of about 10 degrees. 

   

The SYMARE database provides both acoustically measured HRIRs and HRIRs simulated using the Boundary Element Method. Examples of measured HRIRs (left) and simulated HRIRs (right) corresponding to the direction (0º, 90º) for one of the subjects in the database are shown below.

     

SYMARE people

The following people have taken part in the construction of the SYMARE database:

  • Craig Jin (2003-Today)
  • Anthony Tew (2003-Today)
  • André van Schaik (2003-2010)
  • Carl Hetherington (?-?)
  • Jonathan Thorpe (?-?)
  • Pierre Guillon (2009-2010)
  • Nicolas Epain (2011-Today)
  • Reza Zolfaghari (2011-Today)

References

[1] Jin, C.T., Guillon, P., Epain, N., Zolfaghari, R., van Schaik, A., Tew, A.I., Hetherington, C., Thorpe, J, "Creating the Sydney York Morphological and Acoustic Recordings of Ears Database", IEEE Transactions on Multimedia, 16(1) , pp. 37-46, 2014.

[2] Jin, C.T., Guillon, P., Epain, N., Zolfaghari, R., van Schaik, A., Tew, A.I., Hetherington, C., Thorpe, J, "Creating the Sydney York Morphological and Acoustic Recordings of Ears Database", in Proceedings of the 2012 IEEE International Conference on Multimedia and Expo (ICME), pp. 461-466, 2012.

[3] Zolfaghari, R., Epain, N., Jin, C.T., Glaunès, J. and Tew, A., "Large Deformation Diffeomorphic Metric Mapping And Fast-Multipole Boundary Element Method Provide New Insights For Binaural Acoustics", accepted for presentation at the ICASSP 2014, Florence, Italy, May 2014. (view on ARXIV)

Acknowledgments

The creation of the SYMARE database was supported by the Australian Research Council (Discovery Project DP110102920) and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (grant GR/T28140/01).

As well, we thank the company ANSOL (Advanced Numerical Solutions) for letting us use Coustyx and for their technical support.