Binaural speech intelligibility in rooms with variations in spatial location of sources and modulation depth of noise interferers

Benjamin Collin, Mathieu Lavandier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Four experiments investigated the effects on speech intelligibility of reverberation, sound source locations, and amplitude modulation of the interferers. Speech reception thresholds (SRTs) were measured using headphones and stimuli that simulated real-room listening, considering one or two interferers which were stationary or speech-modulated noises. In experiment 1, SRTs for modulated noises showed little variation with increasing interferer reverberation. Reverberation might have increased masking by filling in the modulated noise gaps, but simultaneously changed the noise spectra making them less effective maskers. In experiment 2, SRTs were lower when measured using a unique one-voice modulated interferer rather than a different interferer for each target sentence, suggesting that listeners could take advantage of the predictability of the interferer gaps. In experiment 3, increasing speech reverberation did not significantly affect the difference of SRTs measured with stationary and modulated noises, indicating that the ability to exploit noise modulations was still useful for temporally smeared speech. In experiment 4, spatial unmasking remained constant when applying modulations to the interferers, suggesting an independence of the abilities to exploit these modulations and the spatial separation of sources. Finally, a model predicting binaural intelligibility for modulated noises was developed and provided a good fit to the experimental data.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1146-1159
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume134
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013

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