A Device to Evaluate Broadcast Background Sound Balance Using Loudness for Elderly Listeners
Elderly people complain that they sometimes have a hard time hearing the narration of broadcast TV programs because the background sounds (background music, sound effects) are too loud. We conducted subjective evaluations to determine the relationship between TV volume and loudness of background sounds as it regards the comprehension of programs by elderly subjects. On the basis of objectively measured loudness levels, we confirmed two conditions under which elderly listeners perceive background sounds as too loud. One is a less than 6 phon difference between the narration and background sounds; the other is when background sounds are more than 2.5 phon louder than the average narration in the program. Based on these findings, we constructed a prototype system for objectively evaluating loudness. The device features a meter with seven color-coded levels that clearly shows the best sound balance for elderly listeners. The evaluation system was tested at a broadcasting station.
KeywordsLoudness level elderly listeners broadcast program speech subjective evaluation
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