Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Turn up the volume? A better way to broadcast over the noise

Date:
June 25, 2013
Source:
KTH The Royal Institute of Technology
Summary:
Loud, distorted and repetitive announcements are common in noisy public spaces like airports and train stations. But researchers in Sweden have found that voice manipulation works better than turning up the volume.

Researchers Gustav Eje Henter and Petko Petkov testing their new method.
Credit: Image courtesy of KTH The Royal Institute of Technology

Loud, distorted and repetitive announcements are common in noisy public spaces like airports and train stations. But researchers in Sweden have found that voice manipulation works better than turning up the volume.

“By manipulating speech before it is sent to the loudspeakers, we can enhance the speech signal and adapt it to the surrounding noise,” says Gustav Eje Henter, PhD student at Communication Theory at KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. “This makes it possible to communicate at much lower volume levels than before.”

Traffic, aircraft, mobile devices and personal music equipment are not the only sources of noise pollution. Public address systems have become part of the escalating problem, which according to the World Health Organization, costs Europeans alone the equivalent of 654,000 years of healthy life annually.

Earlier approaches to the problem focused on making the speech more prominent, while the KTH researchers are paying attention to what is actually said. They do this by working with computer and machine speech recognition, which is modeled on human hearing. By creating speech that is easier for computers to recognise, people should benefit as well, the researchers say.

“Our manipulation, which is suited for a computer speech recogniser, also makes it easier for people to hear the right thing,” says Petko Petkov, also a PhD student at Communication Theory. “The modified words sound more distinct from each other, making it easier to distinguish them in the noise.”

Petkov and Henter have developed their method together with Professor Bastiaan Kleijn as part of the European collaborative LISTA– or Listening Talker – project.

A recent global evaluation by the LISTA Consortium at University of Edinburgh showed significant increases in the number of words identified correctly in manipulated speech signals, over unaltered speech. The results of the LISTA evaluation are expected to be publishedlater this year.

In some cases, the improvement in understanding is equivalent to turning down the speech volume by more than 5 decibels, which is similar to the difference in the strength between car and truck noise, while still being able to hear what is said just as clearly.

“This enables communication in conditions where speech normally would be impossible to understand,” says Henter.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. "Turn up the volume? A better way to broadcast over the noise." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 June 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130625162002.htm>.
KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. (2013, June 25). Turn up the volume? A better way to broadcast over the noise. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130625162002.htm
KTH The Royal Institute of Technology. "Turn up the volume? A better way to broadcast over the noise." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/06/130625162002.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Dieting At A Young Age Might Lead To Harmful Health Habits

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Researchers say women who diet at a young age are at greater risk of developing harmful health habits, including eating disorders and alcohol abuse. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

It's Not Just Facebook: OKCupid Experiments With Users Too

Newsy (July 29, 2014) If you've been looking for love online, there's a chance somebody has been looking at how you're looking. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

How Your Face Can Leave A Good Or Bad First Impression

Newsy (July 29, 2014) Researchers have found certain facial features can make us seem more attractive or trustworthy. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Losing Sleep Leaves You Vulnerable To 'False Memories'

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A new study shows sleep deprivation can make it harder for people to remember specific details of an event. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins