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Microphone Arrays for Improving Speech Intelligibility in a Reverberant or Noisy Space

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In a diffuse sound field, speech intelligibility increases as the ratio of direct to reverberant sound energy (D/R) or the energy ratio of direct sound to noise (D/N) increases. It is described how the D/R or the D/N can be increased using a microphone array to improve speech intelligibility in a reverberant or noisy space. The theoretical increase in D/R or D/N obtained by spherical or circular microphone array is confirmed by measuring the rapid speech transmission index (RASTI) under reverberant or noisy conditions. Speech intelligibility tests are also performed in a reverberant or noisy room to confirm the increase in speech intelligibility scores. These results show that the intelligibility of speech in auditoriums or teleconferencing systems can be improved significantly by using these types of microphone arrays.

JAES Volume 41 Issue 10 pp. 771-781; October 1993
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AES - Audio Engineering Society