Author(s): Yang W, Hodgson M
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Abstract Speech-intelligibility tests auralized in a virtual classroom were used to investigate the optimal reverberation times for verbal communication for normal-hearing and hearing-impaired adults. The idealized classroom had simple geometry, uniform surface absorption, and an approximately diffuse sound field. It contained a speech source, a listener at a receiver position, and a noise source located at one of two positions. The relative output levels of the speech and noise sources were varied, along with the surface absorption and the corresponding reverberation time. The binaural impulse responses of the speech and noise sources in each classroom configuration were convolved with Modified Rhyme Test (MRT) and babble-noise signals. The resulting signals were presented to normal-hearing and hearing-impaired adult subjects to identify the configurations that gave the highest speech intelligibilities for the two groups. For both subject groups, when the speech source was closer to the listener than the noise source, the optimal reverberation time was zero. When the noise source was closer to the listener than the speech source, the optimal reverberation time included both zero and nonzero values. The results generally support previous theoretical results.
This article was published in J Acoust Soc Am
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics