SOFA (Spatially Oriented Format for Acoustics)

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SOFA is a file format for storing spatially oriented acoustic data like head-related transfer functions (HRTFs) and binaural or directional room impulse responses (BRIRs, DRIRs). SOFA has been standardized by the Audio Engineering Society (AES) as AES69-2015. This website aims at providing SOFA-relevant information.


SOFA conventions are designed for a consistent description of data stored in SOFA. The aim is the exchange of the data between researches and users. For each conventions, data exist from corresponding measurement setups and its description has been accepted by the peer group. Suggestions for new SOFA conventions and additions to existing ones are highly welcome.


List of repositories with SOFA files containing HRTFs, BRIRs, and DRIRs measured by different researchers. New: Near-field HRTFs from the Fachhochschule Köln with 5 different measurement distances


SOFA files can be read and modified by software and application-programming interfaces (APIs).


SOFA is result of the work of many people from various institutions.



The SOFA project got awarded with the Reproducibility in Audio and Music Research Prize 2013 [1].


News history

  • 25.05.2017: HRTFs and HpIRs of FABIAN from TU-Berlin added (Credit: Fabian Brinkmann)
  • 21.11.2016: Near-field HRTFs from the Fachhochschule Köln with 5 different measurement distances
  • 16.08.2016: Large update of the Oldenburg BRIRs.
  • 05.03.2015: AES standardization process completed. SOFA 1.0 is now AES69-2015.
  • 22.10.2014: Files added: HpIRs from the BT-DEI database provided (Credit: Michele Geronazzo, Italy)
  • 15.10.2014: Discussion: New datatype "SOS" proposed
  • 03.10.2014: Files added: Headphone IRs (HpIRs) from the ARI database for over 100 human listeners provided
  • 11.08.2014: Conventions: SimpleHeadphoneIR 0.1 completed
  • 23.05.2014: Files added: ARI (ARTIFICIAL), HRTFs of mannequins (dummy heads) measured at ARI using the same setup as for human listeners
  • 08.04.2014: Files added: ARI B, files with low-frequency content for Hifi listening experience.
  • 25.03.2014: Files updated: Update to SOFA 0.6
  • 20.03.2014: SOFA 0.6
  • 21.03.2014: Files added: RIEC Far-field HRTFs from the RIEC database (Credit: Kajni Watanabe, Japan)
  • 20.03.2014: Conventions: SimpleFreeFieldHRIR 0.4 completed
  • 27.11.2013: Files added: Near-field HRTFs from SCUT database of the KEMAR (Credit: Bosun Xie, China)
  • 18.11.2013: Files added: HRTFs of the dummy-head Neumann K100, gapless and high spatial resolution (Credit: Benjamin Bernschütz)
  • 30.08.2013: SOFA 0.5
  • 29.08.2013: Files added: DRIRs from Oldenburg. Recordings in an office under several conditions (Credit: Stephan Ewert)
  • 29.06.2013: Conventions: GeneralFIR and GeneralTF completed
  • 21.06.2013: Files added: ARI, LISTEN, CIPIC, MIT KEMAR, TU-Berlin
  • 20.08.2013: Conventions: SimpleFreeFieldHRIR 0.3 proposed
  • 17.05.2013: SOFA 0.3
  • 17.05.2013: Website released
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