Speech intelligibility refers to the proportion of the original spoken signal within a sound stream which can be understood by the listener. Issues relating to speech intelligibility affect not only the estimated 11 million people in the UK currently thought to have some kind of hearing impairment, but also normal hearing listeners: a dialogue stream can be perfectly audible, but not understood, and even when the intelligibiltiy of a dialogue stream is high, it might not be accepted by the listener due to other issues such as poor sound quality or personal taste.
Object-based audio (OBA) and the forthcoming initial roll-out of 5G mobile networks are two technological innovations with the potential to improve not only audio accessibility for multi-media platforms, but also to provide greater levels of personalization, immersion, and interactivity. The OBA approach is to capture and transmit individual audio objects comprising of stems and their corresponding metadata; a renderer at the user end then creates the audio mix based on the metadata, the number of listening devices available and their configuration. The rendering process can be adapted as per an individuals needs or preferences, making OBA a much more flexible approach than channel- or scene-based audio.
This talk will present some of the latest research emerging from the University of Salford and S3A project into manipulations of object-based audio, in particular highlighting how this approach can improve speech intelligibility for both headphone and loudspeaker reproduction for multi-media platforms.
Philippa Demonte is currently a PhD Acoustics & Audio Engineering student at the University of Salford.
Her career path thus far has been unconventional, but the common link has been a love of sound.
Active involvement in student radio and electro-acoustic music composition lead to a decade-long career with a
record company, and then…volcano and geyser seismo- and aero-acoustics. A serendipitous tweet 2 years ago then brought Philippa into the realm of psychoacoustics and back to an interest in audio engineering.