Speech Adjustments for Room Acoustics and Their Effects on Vocal Effort

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objectives The aims of the present study are (1) to analyze the effects of the acoustical environment and the voice style on time dose (Dt_p) and fundamental frequency (mean f0 and standard deviation std_f0) while taking into account the effect of short-term vocal fatigue and (2) to predict the self-reported vocal effort from the voice acoustical parameters. Methods Ten male and ten female subjects were recorded while reading a text in normal and loud styles, in three rooms—anechoic, semi-reverberant, and reverberant—with and without acrylic glass panels 0.5 m from the mouth, which increased external auditory feedback. Subjects quantified how much effort was required to speak in each condition on a visual analogue scale after each task. Results (Aim1) In the loud style, Dt_p, f0, and std_f0 increased. The Dt_p was higher in the reverberant room compared to the other two rooms. Both genders tended to increase f0 in less reverberant environments, whereas a more monotonous speech was produced in rooms with greater reverberation. All three voice parameters increased with short-term vocal fatigue. (Aim2) A model of the vocal effort to acoustic vocal parameters is proposed. The sound pressure level contributed to 66% of the variance explained by the model, followed by the f0 (30%) and the modulation in amplitude (4%). Conclusions The results provide insight into how voice acoustical parameters can predict vocal effort. In particular, it increased when SPL and f0 increased and when the amplitude voice modulation decreased.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)392.e1-392.e12
JournalJournal of Voice
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Room acoustics
  • Speech adjustments
  • Vocal effort
  • Vocal fatigue
  • Voice acoustical parameters

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Speech and Hearing
  • LPN and LVN


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