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In the presence of background noise, the perceptual loudness of speech signal significantly decreases, resulting in the deterioration of intelligibility and clarity. In this letter, we propose a novel approach to enhance the perceived quality of the speech signal when the additive noise cannot be directly controlled. Instead of controlling the background noise, we propose to reinforce the speech signal so that it can be heard more clearly in noisy environments. To find a suitable reinforcement rule, the loudness perception model proposed by Moore et al. is adopted. Experimental results show that the loudness of the reinforced signal can be maintained at the level almost the same as that of the original noise-free speech, and the proposed algorithm can enhance the perceived speech quality under various noise environments.
Date of Publication: Nov. 2007