Intelligibility of bandpass filtered speech: The effect of filter types

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Many studies have examined the contribution of different spectral bands to speech intelligibility, measuring recognition scores of filtered speech stimuli. For a given filter bandwidth, the influence of filter properties on such experiments has been studied mainly with respect to transition band slopes. The objective of the present study was to determine whether nominal transition band slope is a sufficient characterization of filter properties. Several types of filters, both finite impulse response and infinite impulse response types were examined in three experiments to determine if details of the transition band behavior, as well as group delay properties, had any influence on recognition scores. The results of a total of 72 participants showed that for 1/3 octave passbands, differences between filters having the same nominal transition band slopes, but of different types, were large and statistically significant. Linearity of phase response, however, did not influence the results. Further experiments using passband widths of 1/2 and 2/3 octaves revealed that only for the latter the difference in recognition scores between filter types ceased to be significant. These results have important implications for studies which involve filtered speech as well as models that employ different types of filters to emulate peripheral auditory processing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3813-3820
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017


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