Effects of Expanding Envelope Fluctuations on Consonant Perception in Hearing-Impaired Listeners

Alan Wiinberg*, Johannes Zaar, Torsten Dau

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

This study examined the perceptual consequences of three speech enhancement schemes based on multiband nonlinear expansion of temporal envelope fluctuations between 10 and 20 Hz: (a) ‘‘idealized’’ envelope expansion of the speech before the addition of stationary background noise, (b) envelope expansion of the noisy speech, and (c) envelope expansion of only those time-frequency segments of the noisy speech that exhibited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) above 10 dB. Linear processing was considered as a reference condition. The performance was evaluated by measuring consonant recognition and consonant confusions in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners using consonant-vowel nonsense syllables presented in background noise. Envelope expansion of the noisy speech showed no significant effect on the overall consonant recognition performance relative to linear processing. In contrast, SNR-based envelope expansion of the noisy speech improved the overall consonant recognition performance equivalent to a 1- to 2-dB improvement in SNR, mainly by improving the recognition of some of the stop consonants. The effect of the SNR-based envelope expansion was similar to the effect of envelope-expanding the clean speech before the addition of noise.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Hearing
Volume22
Number of pages12
ISSN2331-2165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Consonant recognition
  • Hearing impairment
  • Hearing instruments
  • Speech Enhancement
  • Temporal envelope

Cite this

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title = "Effects of Expanding Envelope Fluctuations on Consonant Perception in Hearing-Impaired Listeners",
abstract = "This study examined the perceptual consequences of three speech enhancement schemes based on multiband nonlinear expansion of temporal envelope fluctuations between 10 and 20 Hz: (a) ‘‘idealized’’ envelope expansion of the speech before the addition of stationary background noise, (b) envelope expansion of the noisy speech, and (c) envelope expansion of only those time-frequency segments of the noisy speech that exhibited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) above 10 dB. Linear processing was considered as a reference condition. The performance was evaluated by measuring consonant recognition and consonant confusions in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners using consonant-vowel nonsense syllables presented in background noise. Envelope expansion of the noisy speech showed no significant effect on the overall consonant recognition performance relative to linear processing. In contrast, SNR-based envelope expansion of the noisy speech improved the overall consonant recognition performance equivalent to a 1- to 2-dB improvement in SNR, mainly by improving the recognition of some of the stop consonants. The effect of the SNR-based envelope expansion was similar to the effect of envelope-expanding the clean speech before the addition of noise.",
keywords = "Consonant recognition, Hearing impairment, Hearing instruments, Speech Enhancement, Temporal envelope",
author = "Alan Wiinberg and Johannes Zaar and Torsten Dau",
year = "2018",
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language = "English",
volume = "22",
journal = "Trends in Hearing",
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Effects of Expanding Envelope Fluctuations on Consonant Perception in Hearing-Impaired Listeners. / Wiinberg, Alan; Zaar, Johannes; Dau, Torsten.

In: Trends in Hearing, Vol. 22, 2018.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Effects of Expanding Envelope Fluctuations on Consonant Perception in Hearing-Impaired Listeners

AU - Wiinberg, Alan

AU - Zaar, Johannes

AU - Dau, Torsten

PY - 2018

Y1 - 2018

N2 - This study examined the perceptual consequences of three speech enhancement schemes based on multiband nonlinear expansion of temporal envelope fluctuations between 10 and 20 Hz: (a) ‘‘idealized’’ envelope expansion of the speech before the addition of stationary background noise, (b) envelope expansion of the noisy speech, and (c) envelope expansion of only those time-frequency segments of the noisy speech that exhibited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) above 10 dB. Linear processing was considered as a reference condition. The performance was evaluated by measuring consonant recognition and consonant confusions in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners using consonant-vowel nonsense syllables presented in background noise. Envelope expansion of the noisy speech showed no significant effect on the overall consonant recognition performance relative to linear processing. In contrast, SNR-based envelope expansion of the noisy speech improved the overall consonant recognition performance equivalent to a 1- to 2-dB improvement in SNR, mainly by improving the recognition of some of the stop consonants. The effect of the SNR-based envelope expansion was similar to the effect of envelope-expanding the clean speech before the addition of noise.

AB - This study examined the perceptual consequences of three speech enhancement schemes based on multiband nonlinear expansion of temporal envelope fluctuations between 10 and 20 Hz: (a) ‘‘idealized’’ envelope expansion of the speech before the addition of stationary background noise, (b) envelope expansion of the noisy speech, and (c) envelope expansion of only those time-frequency segments of the noisy speech that exhibited signal-to-noise ratios (SNRs) above 10 dB. Linear processing was considered as a reference condition. The performance was evaluated by measuring consonant recognition and consonant confusions in normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners using consonant-vowel nonsense syllables presented in background noise. Envelope expansion of the noisy speech showed no significant effect on the overall consonant recognition performance relative to linear processing. In contrast, SNR-based envelope expansion of the noisy speech improved the overall consonant recognition performance equivalent to a 1- to 2-dB improvement in SNR, mainly by improving the recognition of some of the stop consonants. The effect of the SNR-based envelope expansion was similar to the effect of envelope-expanding the clean speech before the addition of noise.

KW - Consonant recognition

KW - Hearing impairment

KW - Hearing instruments

KW - Speech Enhancement

KW - Temporal envelope

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JO - Trends in Hearing

JF - Trends in Hearing

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