With the way we communicate changing, improving and going digital day by day, improving speech quality is of utmost importance to be at a position to lead the markets in the space. Let's think about the standard environment in which speech communication occurs. There are multiple issues in the environment that hinder the quality of audio and speech intelligibility. We discuss the top issues here about how it affects the voice experience, and how the Speech Processing Solutions from Analog Devices can help mitigate these issues to provide the best hearing experience.
Remember hearing yourself at times while you were talking on the call to your friend? These are acoustic echoes caused because your friend had put you on the speaker. The block diagram below explains the acoustic echo scenario.
This is a scenario of me and my friend on a call over the IP. Let's get familiarized with few of the jargons here. Audio from my friend is called the Far End Signal, and my audio is called the Near End Signal. Correspondingly, the place where the Far End Signal is played out (my loud speaker) is the Far End Out and the place where the Far End Signal is received (My friend's microphone) is the Far End In. Similarly, my microphone is the Near End In and my friend's loud speaker is the Near End Out.
When I have the Far End Signal played out on my speaker, that voice can be fed back into my microphone, which creates an acoustic echo. Due to this, my friend will be hearing himself, with a delay and creates a very uncomfortable hearing experience. The Acoustic Echo Cancellation Solution from Analog Devices solves this issue by cancelling this echo from the Near End Signal.
No matter how good the environment is, there always exists some kind of a persistent background noise. The examples of such noises maybe fan noise, AC noise, machine noise, wind noise, engine noise, noise introduced due to the data and electrical interfaces in the system, etc. These noises affect the intelligibility of speech audio, whether it's for human perception, or for processing on a Voice UI. The Noise Reduction Solution from Analog Devices estimates these persistent background noises and suppresses them so that the most intelligible pure voice audio can go through.
Though the background persistent noises are taken care of, one might be in an environment where there are other sources of audio/sound too. It might be other people around talking to themselves, music, kids running around, or the sounds of traffic from a window. In such scenarios, it is important that the system picks up speech only from the desired source and suppresses audio from the other sources. The microphone beamforming technology from Analog Devices helps in concentrating on voice input only from the direction of the desired speaker and suppresses the audio from other unwanted directions. Beamforming is an essential part of any conferencing system these days and the solution from Analog Devices makes this possible with the best performance and minimal resources.
Audio and Video calls over IP are the new normal. One major problem with this is the significant delay that exists, mainly due to the transmission over IP. Often, one would experience that a person has to speak, and pause for a brief amount of time to hear the reply from the other side. Any delay that gets added due to audio processing, though negligible compared to the delay over IP, can still cause an added negative experience on the already hampered scenario of delay. The Speech Processing Solutions from Analog Devices introduce minimal delay with fast convergence rates so that it can improve audio even in most time critical scenarios.