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Consonant Perception and Improved S/N Ratio Using Harmonic Tracking Equalization

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Audio equalization techniques are often used to enhance signals and reduce noise. These include Shelf, Parametric, and Graphic Equalizers. These techniques modify spectral components within specified bands by applying gain or attenuation. Another promising technique utilizes the tracking of harmonics and sub-harmonics (HTEq). These harmonics may be individually changed in intensity. This study utilized 21 Consonant Vowel (CV) stimuli with a white noise masker (+6 dB S/N). Each stimulus was randomly presented to listeners. Confusion matrices determined consonant intelligibility and information transmission for distinctive features. Perceptually, after HTEq, the noise was minimally audible and required considerably less effort to identify consonants. The results indicated the distinctive feature transmission was not altered. Comparisons were made for consonants at various levels of noise reduction.

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