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Re: Reference for typical SNRs is public spaces

Dear Andy,


There is, as you describe, a lack of information regarding SNRs in various realistic listening environments. The reference that has been used for decades is the work of Pearsons et al. (Pearsons KS, Bennett RL, Fidell S. (1977) Speech levels in various noise environments. Project report on contract 68 01-2466., U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC.). The main results have been summarized in a paper by Olsen (Olsen WO. (1998) Average speech levels and spectra in various speaking/listening conditions: A summary of the Pearson, Bennett, & Fidell (1977) report Am J of Audiol 7: 1-5.). But, in these recordings there aren’t any recordings in bars or restaurants.


There is a study by Teder (Teder H. (1990) Noise and speech levels in noisy environments. Hear Instrum 41: 32-33.), where there are recordings of the type you ask for.


We have recently submitted a manuscript for publication where we have investigated the SNRs found in everyday recordings made by 20 hearing-aid users (Smeds, Wolters, and Rung). The data is a further analysis of the data collected by Wagener et al. (Wagener KC, Hansen M, Ludvigsen C. (2008) Recording and classification of the acoustic environment of hearing aid users. J Am Acad Audiol 19: 348-70). The “signal” in our analyses is always live speech. I’m happy to send you a copy of a poster we have presented on this material if you contact me directly.


However, from your question it sounds as if you’re mainly interested in “difficult situations” with low SNRs. Since the recordings we analyzed were made in the informants’ everyday life and recordings were only made for a 3-4 days, there were not that many recordings made in this type of very noisy situations. There might also be a bias created by the fact that the informants were hearing-aid users, who might find it particularly difficult in these noisy situations and might therefore refrain from going to noisy bars and similar. There might also be a bias created by the fact that the persons talking to the informants took the hearing loss into account and raised their vocal effort or decreased the speaking distance, thereby creating slightly higher SNRs than would otherwise be the case.


But, the poster is available if you’re interested.




Karolina Smeds, Director PhD
ORCA Europe, Widex A/S
Maria Bangata 4

+46 8 455 67 60 (phone)
+46 8 455 67 63 (phone, direct)
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From: AUDITORY - Research in Auditory Perception [mailto:AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Andy Sabin
Sent: den 22 januari 2014 18:53
To: AUDITORY@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Subject: [AUDITORY] Reference for typical SNRs is public spaces


Hi List, 


Can anyone point me to a reference showing SNRs that are typically observed in public spaces (e.g., restaurants, bars ...etc)? I can find this info for overall SPL, but am having a hard time finding it for SNR. 



Andy Sabin