Proc. of the European Conf. on Speech Communication and Technology (Eurospeech), pp. 1365-1368, Geneva, 2003

Improving speech intelligibility by steady-state suppression as pre-processing in small to medium sized halls

N. Hodoshima, T. Arai, T. Inoue, K. Kinoshita and A. Kusumoto

Abstract: One of the reasons that reverberation degrades speech intelligibility is the effect of overlap-masking, in which segments of an acoustics signal are affected by reverberation components of previous segments [Bolt et al., 1949]. To reduce the overlap-masking, Arai et al. suppressed steady- state portions having more energy, but which are less crucial for speech perception, and confirmed promising results for improving speech intelligibility [Arai et al., 2002]. Our goal is to provide a pre-processing filter for each auditorium. To explore the relationship between the effect of a pre-processing filter and reverberation conditions, we conducted a perceptual test with steady-state suppression under various reverberation conditions. The results showed that processed stimuli performed better than unprocessed ones and clear improvements were observed for reverberation conditions of 0.8 - 1.0s. We certified that steady-state suppression was an effective pre-processing method for improving speech intelligibility under reverberant conditions and proved the effect of overlap-masking.

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