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Effects of spatial and temporal integration of a single early reflection on speech intelligibility

: Warzybok, A.; Rennies, J.; Brand, T.; Doclo, S.; Kollmeier, B.


Journal of the Acoustical Society of America : JASA 133 (2013), No.1, pp.269-282
ISSN: 0001-4966
ISSN: 1520-8524
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG
SFB 31;
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IDMT ()

In order to study the interaction between the intelligibility advantage in rooms due to the presence of early reflections and due to binaural unmasking, a series of speech reception threshold experiments was performed employing a single reflection of the frontal target speech source as a function of its delay ranging from 0 to 200 ms. The direction of the reflection and the spatial characteristic of the interfering noise (diotic, diffuse, or laterally localized) were varied in the experiments. For the frontal reflection, full temporal integration was observed for all three noise types up to a delay of at least 25 ms followed by gradual intelligibility decay at longer delays. At 200 ms delay the reflection introduced additional intelligibility deterioration. For short delays, intelligibility was not reduced when the reflection was spatially separated from the direct sound in the diffuse and lateral noise conditions. A release from the deterioration effect at 200 ms delay was found for all spatially separated reflections. The suppression of a detrimental reflection was symmetrical in diffuse noise, but azimuth-dependent in lateral noise. This indicates an interaction of spatial and temporal processing of speech reflections which challenges existing binaural speech intelligibility models.