Paper: Improving Speech Privacy in Personal Sound Zones

Presented at ICASSP 2016, we explore ways to improve speech privacy in multizone soundfield reproductions using intelligibility metrics, all while maintaining high speech quality.

Anechoic Results - Improving Speech Privacy in Personal Sound Zones
Multizone Soundfield Layout - Improving Speech Privacy in Personal Sound Zones

J. Donley, C. Ritz, and W. B. Kleijn, “Improving Speech Privacy in Personal Sound Zones,” in 2016 IEEE International Conference on Acoustics, Speech and Signal Processing (ICASSP), 2016, pp. 311–315. 10.1109/ICASSP.2016.7471687

You can download the pre-published copy for free here.


This paper proposes two methods for providing speech privacy between spatial zones in anechoic and reverberant environments. The methods are based on masking the content leaked between regions. The masking is optimised to maximise the speech intelligibility contrast (SIC) between the zones. The first method uses a uniform masker signal that is combined with desired multizone loudspeaker signals and requires acoustic contrast between zones. The second method computes a space-time domain masker signal in parallel with the loudspeaker signals so that the combination of the two emphasises the spectral masking in the targeted quiet zone. Simulations show that it is possible to achieve a significant SIC in anechoic environments whilst maintaining speech quality in the bright zone.

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