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Binaural prediction of speech intelligibility in reverberant rooms with multiple noise sources

Acoustical Society of America
Publication Date
  • Computer Science
  • Design
  • Musicology
  • Physics


When speech is in competition with interfering sources in rooms, monaural indicators of intelligibility fail to take account of the listener’s abilities to separate target speech from interfering sounds using the binaural system. In order to incorporate these segregation abilities and their susceptibility to reverberation, Lavandier and Culling [J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127, 387–399 (2010)] proposed a model which combines effects of better-ear listening and binaural unmasking. A computationally efficient version of this model is evaluated here under more realistic conditions that include head shadow, multiple stationary noise sources, and real-room acoustics. Three experiments are presented in which speech reception thresholds were measured in the presence of one to three interferers using real-room listening over headphones, simulated by convolving anechoic stimuli with binaural room impulse-responses measured with dummy-head transducers in five rooms. Without fitting any parameter of the model, there was close correspondence between measured and predicted differences in threshold across all tested conditions. The model’s components of better-ear listening and binaural unmasking were validated both in isolation and in combination. The computational efficiency of this prediction method allows the generation of complex “intelligibility maps” from room designs. © 2012 Acoustical Society of America

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