Effects of room acoustics on the intelligibility of speech in classrooms

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1121/1.3058900
AuthorSearch for: ; Search for:
Journal titleJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Pages112; # of pages: 12
Subjectclassrooms, reverberation, intelligibility, children; Classroom acoustics
AbstractThis paper reports new measurements of the intelligibility of speech in conditions representative of elementary school classrooms. The speech test material was binaurally recorded in simulated classroom conditions and played back to subjects over headphones. Subjects included grade 1, 3, and 6 students (6, 8 and 11 year olds) as well as adults. Recognizing that reverberation time is not a complete descriptor of room acoustics conditions, simulated conditions included realistic early-to-late arriving sound ratios as well as varied reverberation time. For conditions of constant signal-to-noise ratio, intelligibility scores increased with decreasing reverberation time. However, for conditions including realistic increases in speech level with varied reverberation time for constant noise level, intelligibility scores were near maximum for a range of reverberation times. Young children?s intelligibility scores benefited from added early reflections of speech sounds similar to adult listeners. The effect of varied reverberation time on the intelligibility of speech for young children was much less than the effect of varied signal-to-noise ratio. The results can be used to help to determine ideal conditions for speech communication in classrooms for younger listeners.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedYes
NRC number50831
NPARC number20377376
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Record identifier223617b1-bcd3-4df3-aa20-e044b4c43f9c
Record created2012-07-24
Record modified2016-05-09
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