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The cricket's auditory system is a highly directional pressure difference receiver whose function is hypothesised to depend on phase relationships between the sound waves propagating through the auditory trachea that connects the left and right hearing organs. We tested this hypothesis by measuring the effect of experimentally constructed phase shifts in acoustic stimuli on phonotactic behavior of Gryllus bimaculatus, the oscillatory response patterns of the tympanic membrane, and the activity of the auditory afferents. The same artificial calling song was played simultaneously at the left and right sides of the cricket, but one sound pattern was shifted in phase by 90 deg (carrier frequencies between 3.6 and 5.4 kHz). All three levels of auditory processing are sensitive to experimentally induced acoustic phase shifts, and the response characteristics are dependent on the carrier frequency of the sound stimulus. At lower frequencies, crickets steered away from the sound leading in phase, while tympanic membrane vibrations and auditory afferent responses were smaller when the ipsilateral sound was leading. In contrast, opposite responses were observed at higher frequencies in all three levels of auditory processing. Minimal responses occurred near the carrier frequency of the cricket's calling song, suggesting a stability at this frequency. Our results indicate that crickets may use directional cues arising from phase shifts in acoustic signals for sound localisation, and that the response properties of pressure difference receivers may be analysed with phase-shifted sound stimuli to further our understanding of how insect auditory systems are adapted for directional processing.