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A Fixed Beamforming Based Approach for Stereophonic Audio-Conference Systems

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Hands-free communications systems require to primarily reduce the impact of the inevitably occurring acoustic echo. Moreover, in the recent past, a certain attention has been devoted to algorithmic frameworks able to provide stereophonic acoustic rendering and so augmenting the pleasantness of the audio-conference experience. In this paper the authors propose an optimally designed fixed Beamformer (BF) based solution for Stereophonic Acoustic Echo Cancellation (SAEC), with a twofold objective in mind: reducing the echo power and maximize the stereophonic spatial feeling. Up to the author's knowledge this is new to the literature and the achieved experimental results seem to confirm the effectiveness of the approach. It must be underlined, on purpose, that preliminary subjective listening tests have been carried out to evaluate the attainable audio stereo-recording quality. Moreover, the proposed solution allows to significantly reduce the overall computational cost required by the SAEC framework: indeed BF implementation asks for few extra filtering operations with respect to the baseline approach from one hand but make the usage of the decorrelation module nonessential.

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