Reduced noise allows clearer mobile phone conversations

Feb 19, 2008

Dutch researcher Richard Hendriks investigated how background noises can be suppressed in order to provide better sound quality in applications such as mobile phones and hearing aids.

Speech-processing systems, such as hearing aids or mobile phones, are used in a wide variety of situations. A range of background noises such as traffic, music or voices can make it difficult for people to understand each other through equipment such as a telephone or a hearing aid.

Hendriks focused on improving speech and, in particular, on suppressing background noise. His aim was to improve the existing methods that make use of just one microphone.

First of all, Hendriks investigated how the power density spectrum of pure speech could be better estimated from the noise-distorted speech. Secondly, he examined how the speech signal could be better estimated from the disrupted signal by making use of improved statistical models. Finally, he took a closer look at a method for estimating the power density spectrum of the noise.

Hendriks then combined these three methods into a single all-encompassing system to improve the speech quality. Listening tests were used to compare the new system with an existing state-of-the-art system for improving speech quality. The new system was found to provide a significantly better quality.

As a follow-up to this study, the researchers from Delft have just started a project in partnership with a hearing aid company. This project will focus on how to improve the comprehensibility of speech for hearing aid users.

Richard Hendriks research was funded by Philips and Technology Foundation STW.

Source: NWO

Explore further: Circuits on demand: Engineer prints electrical components on paper

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Form Devices team designs Point as a house sitter

22 hours ago

A Scandinavian team "with an international outlook" and good eye for electronics, software and design aims to reach success with what they characterize as "a softer take" on home security. Their device is ...

Man pleads guilty in New York cybercrime case

Nov 22, 2014

A California man has pleaded guilty in New York City for his role marketing malware that federal authorities say infected more than a half-million computers worldwide.

Recommended for you

Faradair team determined to make hybrid BEHA fly

8 hours ago

Aiming to transform their concept into a real success, the Faradair team behind a six-seat Bio-Electric-Hybrid-Aircraft (BEHA) have taken this hybrid aircraft project into a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. ...

How polymer banknotes were invented

Nov 26, 2014

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) and CSIRO's 20-year "bank project" resulted in the introduction of the polymer banknote – the first ever of its kind, and the most secure form of currency in the world. ...

Enabling the hearing impaired to locate human speakers

Nov 26, 2014

New wireless microphones systems developed at EPFL should allow the hearing impaired to aurally identify, even with closed eyes, the location of the person speaking. This new technology will be used in classrooms ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.