Purpose: The speech intelligibility index (SII) represents the contribution of audible speech information within given frequency bands to speech intelligibility. Generally, speech intelligibility performance depends on the gender of the speaker. The purpose of this study was to compare how a speaker’s gender affects band-importance functions (BIFs) and absolute transfer functions (ATFs), which are important components of the SII. Methods: This study consisted of 78 subjects. The SII data for male speakers was obtained from a previous study. The SII data for female speakers was obtained using the same procedure as the previous study. Hearing-In-Noise Test sentences were used as stimuli. Intelligibility scores were measured in 42 filters at 5 signal-to-noise ratios. The BIFs and ATFs were derived using a nonlinear optimization procedure, and then the BIFs and ATFs of the different genders were compared. Results: The BIF and ATF of different genders have different characteristics. In the case of the BIF, the gap between the different genders ranged between 0.2% (1,170Hz) and 4.0% (8,500 Hz) depending on the frequency band. In the case of the ATF, the female speakers’ ATF was steeper than the male speakers’ ATF. Conclusion: The results of the current study indicate that gender can be an important factor for predicting intelligibility. Female speakers’ speech seems particularly more intelligible than male speakers’ speech when measured at the same audibility levels in Korean SII modeling.
MATERIALS AND METHODS