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Speech intelligibility

Can you hear me?

Speech intelligibility measures how well speech can be heard and understood in a room. Many factors influence speech intelligibility. These include the strength of the speech signal, the direction of the source sound, the level of background noise, the reverberation time of the room and the shape of the room.

Too much reverberation:
    
Incorrect reverberation:
   
Proper amount of reverberation: 

A good reverberation time will enable a listener to hear and understand the first word - and the sound from that will die out before the sound of the next word reaches the listener.

Also, if the sound is drowned in background noise, the listener will have difficulty understanding what is being said. The normal reaction is to speak louder, leading to more reverberation and poorer speech intelligibility.
 

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