A metric for predicting binaural speech intelligibility in stationary noise and competing speech maskers

Yan Tang, Martin Cooke, Bruno M. Fazenda, Trevor J. Cox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


One criterion in the design of binaural sound scenes in audio production is the extent to which the intended speech message is correctly understood. Object-based audio broadcasting systems have permitted sound editors to gain more access to the metadata (e.g., intensity and location) of each sound source, providing better control over speech intelligibility. The current study describes and evaluates a binaural distortion-weighted glimpse proportion metric - BiDWGP - which is motivated by better-ear glimpsing and binaural masking level differences. BiDWGP predicts intelligibility from two alternative input forms: either binaural recordings or monophonic recordings from each sound source along with their locations. Two listening experiments were performed with stationary noise and competing speech, one in the presence of a single masker, the other with multiple maskers, for a variety of spatial configurations. Overall, BiDWGP with both input forms predicts listener keyword scores with correlations of 0.95 and 0.91 for single- and multi-masker conditions, respectively. When considering masker type separately, correlations rise to 0.95 and above for both types of maskers. Predictions using the two input forms are very similar, suggesting that BiDWGP can be applied to the design of sound scenes where only individual sound sources and their locations are available.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1858-1870
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics

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