Vocal effort with changing talker-to-listener distance in different acoustic environments

David Pelegrin Garcia, Bertrand Smits, Jonas Brunskog, Cheol-Ho Jeong

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Talkers adjust their vocal effort to communicate at different distances, aiming to compensate for the sound propagation losses. The present paper studies the influence of four acoustically different rooms on the speech produced by 13 male talkers addressing a listener at four distances. Talkers raised their vocal intensity by between 1.3 and 2.2 dB per double distance to the listener and lowered it as a linear function of the quantity “room gain” at a rate of 3.6 dB/dB. There were also significant variations in the mean fundamental frequency, both across distance (3.8 Hz per double distance) and among environments (4.3 Hz), and in the long-term standard deviation of the fundamental frequency among rooms (4 Hz). In the most uncomfortable rooms to speak in, talkers prolonged the voiced segments of the speech they produced, either as a side-effect of increased vocal intensity or in order to compensate for a decrease in speech intelligibility.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcoustical Society of America. Journal
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)1981-1990
Publication statusPublished - 2011

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