Snap, crackle and pop : how sound effects help, and hinder, hearing in broadcast audio

Ward, L, Shirley, BG ORCID: and Davies, WJ ORCID: 2017, Snap, crackle and pop : how sound effects help, and hinder, hearing in broadcast audio , in: SPARC 2017 Salford Postgraduate Annual Research Conference, 27-29 June 2017, University of Salford, UK.

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Complaints about the intelligibility of television speech have become increasingly common, both for normal hearing and hard of hearing listeners alike. The debate these complaints have sparked have stretched from angry viewers on Twitter right up to the House of Lords. Despite this, the question of how to improve the clarity and accessibility of television speech remains unanswered. A recent BBC whitepaper highlighted that the barrier to providing more accessible broadcast audio is not technology. The barrier they highlighted is the lack of understanding of what accessible broadcast audio needs to contain to be more accessible and meaningful for hard of hearing listeners. This work begins to address this deficit. This presentation will outline the current investigation into how different broadcast sound elements, specifically sound effects, interact with speech intelligibility for normal and hard of hearing listeners. Current results from this work show that the inclusion of relevant sound effects can significantly improve intelligibility of speech in complicated listening environments for normal hearing listeners (increasing word recognition from 35.8% to 60.7%). For hard of hearing listeners this effect is not so clear-cut, with relevant sound effects only improving for intelligibility for half of listeners. How this knowledge, along with advances in object-based broadcasting, can be leveraged to deliver more accessible and personalisable broadcast content will also be outlined.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Journal or Publication Title: SPARC 2017 retrospect & prospects : Salford postgraduate annual research conference book of abstracts
Publisher: University of Salford
ISBN: 9781907842986
Depositing User: Dr Ben Shirley
Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2022 13:54
Last Modified: 15 Feb 2022 17:16

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