16th Annual Conference of the International Speech Communication Association

Dresden, Germany
September 6-10, 2015

Intelligibility Enhancement of Vocal Announcements for Public Address Systems: A Design for All Through a Presbycusis Pre-Compensation Filter

A. Ben Jemaa (1), N. Mechergui (1), G. Courtois (2), A. Mudry (3), S. Djaziri-Larbi (4), M. Turki (4), H. Lissek (2), M. Jaidane (4)

(1) Université de Tunis El Manar, Tunisia
(2) EPFL, Switzerland
(3) Stanford University, USA
(4) Telnet, Tunisia

Listeners suffering from presbycusis (age-related hearing loss) often report difficulties when attempting to understand vocal announcements in public spaces. Current solutions that improve speech intelligibility for hearing-impaired subjects mainly consist of customized solutions, such as hearing aids. This study proposes a more generic strategy, which would enhance speech perception for both normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners, i.e. For All. It provides the early stages of such an approach. Digital filters with different degrees of hearing-loss compensation have been designed, getting inspired by the way hearing aids process speech signals. Subjective tests conducted on normal-hearing and presbycusis subjects confirmed that it is possible to improve speech intelligibility for both types of population simultaneously.

Full Paper

Bibliographic reference.  Jemaa, A. Ben / Mechergui, N. / Courtois, G. / Mudry, A. / Djaziri-Larbi, S. / Turki, M. / Lissek, H. / Jaidane, M. (2015): "Intelligibility enhancement of vocal announcements for public address systems: a design for all through a presbycusis pre-compensation filter", In INTERSPEECH-2015, 70-74.