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Open Access A Binaural Model Predicting Speech Intelligibility in the Presence of Stationary Noise and Noise-Vocoded Speech Interferers for Normal-Hearing and Hearing-Impaired Listeners

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A binaural model is presented which predicts the effect of audibility on the intelligibility of speech in the presence of speech-shaped noise and vocoded-speech maskers. It takes the calibrated target and masker signals (independently) and the listener's tonal audiogram at each ear as inputs. Model predictions are compared to speech reception thresholds (SRTs) measured for normal-hearing (NH) and hearing-impaired (HI) listeners in the presence of two uncorrelated speech-spectrum noises or two vocoded-speech maskers, which were either (artificially) spatially separated or co-located with the frontal speech target. The artificial spatial separation was realized by presenting each masker to a different single ear using headphones, while the target was presented diotically as coming from the front. Audibility was varied by testing four different sensation levels for the combined maskers. The model allows for a good prediction of the decrease of SRT and the increase of spatial release from masking (based primarily on better-ear glimpsing here) with increasing audibility. For both groups of listeners, the averaged absolute prediction error across conditions was between 0.6 and 1.7 dB.

© 2018 The Author(s). Published by S. Hirzel Verlag · EAA. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY 4.0) license (

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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: September 1, 2018

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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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