Effect of noise and reverberation on speech intelligibility for cochlear implant recipients in realistic sound environments

Javier Badajoz-Davila, Jörg M. Buchholz, Richard Van-Hoesel

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Abstract

Previous studies have suggested a strong effect of reverberation on speech intelligibility (SI) in cochlear implant (CI) recipients. In many of them, different reverberation conditions were obtained by altering the acoustic absorption of a single room, thereby omitting the effect of the room volume. In addition, studies that have investigated the combined effects of reverberation and noise on SI have overlooked the effect of reverberation on the modulation of the noise. In the present study, SI was measured unilaterally in 12 CI recipients in quiet and in noise using a three-dimensional loudspeaker array. Target speech was convolved with room impulse responses (RIRs) recorded at three talker-to-listener distances in five physical rooms with distinct reverberation times. Noise consisted of four two-talker dialogues convolved with RIRs measured at fixed positions around the listener. Results in quiet suggest that a significant drop in SI occurs mainly at long talker-to-listener distances, and small reverberant rooms affect SI the most. In noise, the most detrimental type of noise is anechoic as it is the most modulated. Overall, the results suggest that at fixed signal-to-noise ratios the effects of noise and reverberation are smallest at short distances in large rooms or in small rooms with some reverberation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3538-3549
Number of pages12
JournalThe Journal of the Acoustical Society of America
Volume147
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2020

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2020 Acoustical Society of America. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the Acoustical Society of America. The following article appeared in Badajoz-Davila, J., Buchholz, J. M., & Van-Hoesel, R. (2020). Effect of noise and reverberation on speech intelligibility for cochlear implant recipients in realistic sound environments. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 147(5), 3538-3549, and may be found at https://doi.org/10.1121/10.0001259.

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