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Speech Intelligibility Advantages Using an Acoustic Beamformer Display

A speech intelligibility test conforming to the Modified Rhyme Test of ANSI S3.2 “Method for Measuring the Intelligibility of Speech Over Communication Systems” was conducted using a prototype 12-channel acoustic beamformer system. The target speech material (signal) was identified against speech babble (noise), with calculated signal-noise ratios of 0, 5 and 10 dB. The signal was delivered at a fixed beam orientation of 135 degrees (re 90 degrees as the frontal direction of the array) and the noise at 135 (co-located) and 0 degrees (separated). A significant improvement in intelligibility from 58% to 75% was found for spatial separation for the same signal-noise ratio (0 dB). Significant effects for improved intelligibility due to spatial separation were also found for higher signal-noise ratios.

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