Abstract Twenty-four laryngectomees, ranging widely in speaking ability, read a standard passage for audio recording. Four experienced voice clinicians rated the acceptability of the speakers' air intake noise. Independently, overall speech proficiency ratings were obtained for 18 of the subjects. Five objective measures of the subjects' esophageal speech were obtained using a real-time intensity display on a storage oscilloscope. Judges' reliability was determined by Pearson Product Moment Correlations. Ratings were submitted to multiple regression analysis. The means of air intake noise acceptability were the criterion variables; the objective measures and speech proficiency scores were the predictor variables. Three predictors were positively correlated (<.01) with air intake acceptability: the number of syllables per intake, the sound intensity of the intake, and the rate of speech. Syllables per intake provided the largest share of the variance.