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Sound Masking Performance of Time-Reversed Masker Processed from the Target Speech

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Noise is typically used as a masker to reduce speech intelligibility of ambient speech in offices. However, the efficiency of noise in masking speech is not satisfactory. In this paper, the masking produced by time reversal of the target speech was investigated. The masking efficiency, the subjective annoyance and the cognitive load produced by time-reversed maskers were measured to evaluate their performance. The results of the intelligibility test show that a time-reversed masker with the same target-to-masker ratio (TMR) as a noise masker is more efficient in reducing speech intelligibility. However, the results of a short-term memory test show that the cognitive load is not decreased when time-reversed maskers are used to mask the target speech, while the perceived annoyance of time-reversed maskers is no better, and sometimes worse, than that of the noise masker.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2012

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  • Acta Acustica united with Acustica, published together with the European Acoustics Association (EAA), is an international, peer-reviewed journal on acoustics. It publishes original articles on all subjects in the field of acoustics, such as general linear acoustics, nonlinear acoustics, macrosonics, flow acoustics, atmospheric sound, underwater sound, ultrasonics, physical acoustics, structural acoustics, noise control, active control, environmental noise, building acoustics, room acoustics, acoustic materials, acoustic signal processing, computational and numerical acoustics, hearing, audiology and psychoacoustics, speech, musical acoustics, electroacoustics, auditory quality of systems. It reports on original scientific research in acoustics and on engineering applications. The journal considers scientific papers, technical and applied papers, book reviews, short communications, doctoral thesis abstracts, etc. In irregular intervals also special issues and review articles are published.
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