The remote microphone technique is considered in this paper as a way of estimating the error signals at a listener's ears in an active headrest system using remotely installed monitoring microphones. A least-squares formulation for the optimal observation filter is presented, including a regularization factor that is chosen to satisfy both the estimation accuracy and robustness to uncertainties. The accuracy of the nearfield estimation is first investigated for a diffuse field via simulations. Additionally, simulations of a free field are also used to investigate the effect of the spatial directivity of the primary field. Finally, experiments in an anechoic chamber are conducted with 24 monitoring microphones around a dummy head positioned in an active headrest system. When six loudspeakers driven by uncorrelated random disturbances are used to generate the primary field, the best arrangement of monitoring microphones is considered, taking into account both accuracy and robustness.

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