# Audio localization accuracy with two microphones

I am attempting to find the location of sound using two microphones, using cross-correlation methods. I am not getting very consistent and accurate results, there are instances where there seem to be some kind of noise signals that interfere with the signal of interest and generate rubbish values of angles of arrival.

I have tried looking at various methods to make it more accurate, but now I'm wondering whether I should be using more than two microphones to localize the sound. Is it possible that my decision to use two microphones only is causing the poor accuracy of localization?

• with only two microphones you can only place the location of your source on a cone (or, more precisely, a hyperboloid of two sheets) which is the loci of points that have that fixed difference of distances to the two microphones. you need at least 3 simultaneous microphones to estimate the location of a single source in 3D space. Dec 13 '16 at 19:45
• You would need 4 microphones in 3D space, and I need to localize it in 2D (horizontal plane). I use two microphones and 'tilt the head' (rotate the robot once) to give two positions and this removes the 'front back' ambiguity (which arises due to the 'cone of confusion' that you mentioned, in one plane). Dec 15 '16 at 9:48
• actually, mathematically, 4 microphones gives you some redundancy in localizing in 3 dimensions. Dec 15 '16 at 18:36

Each ear have a Frequency Response $H_L(f)$ and $H_R(f)$ and transmission delays $\tau_L$ and $\tau_R$ according the 3D angle from where the sound source is located relative to each ear.
Hence, for a fixed magnitude and frequency sound, $s(t)$, you have the response $H_L(f)s(t-\tau_L)$ and $H_R(f)s(t-\tau_R)$.