Multichannel speech intelligibility and talker recognition using monaural, biaural and three-dimentional auditory presentation
In a 3D auditory display sounds are presented over headphones in a way that they seem to originate from virtual sources in a space around the listener. This paper describes a study on the possible merits of such a display for bandlimited speech with respect to intelligibility and talker recognition against a background of competing voices. Different conditions were investigated: speech material (words/sentences), presentation mode (monaural/binaural/3D), number of competing talkers (14), and virtual position of the talkers (in 45°-steps around the front horizontal plane). Average results for 12 listeners show an increase of speech intelligibility for 3D-presentation for two or more competing talkers compared to conventional binaural presentation. The ability to recognize a talker is slightly better and the time required for recognition is significantly shorter for 3D-presentation in the presence of two or three competing talkers. Although absolute localization of a talker is rather poor, spatial separation appears to have a significant effect on communication. For either speech intelligibility, talker recognition, or localization no difference is found between the use of an individualized 3D auditory display and a general display.
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Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 107 (107), 2224-2235