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Optimization of Personal Audio Systems for Intelligibility Contrast

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Personal audio systems are designed to deliver spatially separated regions of audio to individual listeners. This paper demonstrates a method of personal audio system design that provides a level of contrast in the perceived speech intelligibility between bright and dark audio zones. Limitations in array directivity which would lead to a loss of privacy are overcome by reproducing a synthetic masking signal in the dark zone. This signal is optimized to provide effective masking whilst remaining subjectively pleasant to listeners. Results of this optimization from a simulated personal audio system are presented.

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AES - Audio Engineering Society