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Prediction of the influence of reverberation on binaural speech intelligibility in noise and in quiet

: Rennies, J.; Brand, T.; Kollmeier, B.


Journal of the Acoustical Society of America : JASA 130 (2011), Nr.5, S.2999-3012
ISSN: 0001-4966
ISSN: 1520-8524
Fraunhofer IDMT ()

Reverberation usually degrades speech intelligibility for spatially separated speech and noise sources since spatial unmasking is reduced and late reflections decrease the fidelity of the received speech signal. The latter effect could not satisfactorily be predicted by a recently presented binaural speech intelligibility model [Beutelmann et al. (2010). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 127, 2479-2497]. This study therefore evaluated three extensions of the model to improve its predictions: (1) an extension of the speech intelligibility index based on modulation transfer functions, (2) a correction factor based on the room acoustical quantity "definition," and (3) a separation of the speech signal into useful and detrimental parts. The predictions were compared to results of two experiments in which speech reception thresholds were measured in a reverberant room in quiet and in the presence of a noise source for listeners with normal hearing. All extensions yielded better predictions than the original model when the influence of reverberation was strong, while predictions were similar for conditions with less reverberation. Although model (3) differed substantially in the assumed interaction of binaural processing and early reflections, its predictions were very similar to model (2) that achieved the best fit to the data.