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Measuring Speech Intelligibility Using Head-Oriented Binaural Room Impulse Responses

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Speech intelligibility/speech clarity is important in any setting in which information is verbally communicated. More specifically, a high level of speech intelligibility is crucial in classrooms to allow teachers to effectively communicate with their students. Given the importance of speech intelligibility in learning environments, several studies have analyzed how accurately the standard method of measuring clarity predicts the level of speech intelligibility in a room. In the context of speech measurements, C50 has been widely used to measure clarity. Instead of using a standard omnidirectional microphone to record room impulse responses for clarity measurements, this study examines the effectiveness of room impulse responses measured with a binaural dummy head. The data collected for this experiment show that C50 measurements differ between the left and right channels by varying amounts based on the dummy head’s position in the room and head orientation. To further investigate the effectiveness of binaural C50 measurements in comparison to the effectiveness of omnidirectional C50 measurements, this research explores the results of psychoacoustic testing to determine which recording method more consistently predicts human speech intelligibility. These results, combined with qualitative observations, predict how precisely acousticians are able to measure C50.

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