When using the automobile’s audio system with cell phones, the intelligibility of speech communications inside the vehicle is important because it influences the inhabitant’s comfort and safety. The articulation index (AI), which combines the S/N ratio of numerous spectral bands, is one objective proxy for the subjective experience. By analyzing the acoustic conditions inside an automobile while in use, it was shown that intelligibility depends both on the characteristics of car audio system and on the intensity of various noise sources. The main noise sources in two different test vehicles were examined. For example, the road noise of a vehicle moving a 100 km/h on asphalt pavement showed the lowest AI, while the noise produced by a vehicle on polyhedral pavement produced more user discomfort. In addition, air conditioner noise of a stationary vehicle also has a significant impact on the AI. For electronic communications, such as cell phones, equalization could lead to an improved AI.
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