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Humans instinctively adapt their speech to match their surrounding environment. For example, when speaking in noisy environments, we enunciate in ways that are more intelligible than when speaking under quiet conditions. This phenomenon, which is commonly referred to as the Lombard effect, has been confirmed in previous studies involving the analysis of words spoken under reverberant conditions. Furthermore, the intelligibility of words spoken in public spaces is not only affected by the reverberation time, but also by the frequency characteristics of the impulse responses. However, it is currently unknown how impulse response frequency characteristics affect speech intelligibility in such environments. Accordingly, we conducted listening experiments involving speech spoken under both quiet and reverberant conditions with involving different impulse response frequency characteristics. To record speech spoken under reverberant conditions, utterances were convolved with an impulse response (either artificial or pre-recorded) and reverberant sounds were fed (via headphones) to persons speaking in a soundproof room. The selected impulse response reverberation times matched those of a train station where a sound reinforcement system was in use. The final goal of this research is to create more intelligible spoken announcements using sound reinforcement systems installed in public spaces, such as train stations and airports.
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