Speech privacy criteria for closed rooms in terms of speech privacy class (SPC) values

Authors

  • J.S. Bradley Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council, Montreal Rd, Ottawa, K1A 0R6, Canada
  • B.N. Gover Institute for Research in Construction, National Research Council, Montreal Rd, Ottawa, K1A 0R6, Canada

Keywords:

Probability, Ambient noise, Level difference, Measurement standards, Noise levels, Speech privacy

Abstract

This paper describes a new set of speech privacy criteria in terms of Speech Privacy Class (SPC) values. SPC values can be used to specify the required speech privacy for new construction or to assess the speech privacy of existing closed rooms. The ASTM E2638 measurement standard defines SPC as the sum of the measured average noise level at the position of a potential eavesdropper outside the room, and the measured average level difference between a source room average and the transmitted levels at the same location. With a given combination of level difference and ambient noise level, the likelihood of transmitted speech being audible or intelligible can be related to the probability of higher speech levels occurring in the meeting room, based on the statistics of speech levels from a large number of meetings. For a particular SPC, there is a speech level for which transmitted speech would be at the threshold of intelligibility. The probability of higher speech levels occurring is the probability of a speech privacy lapse at that SPC value. A set of increasing SPC values corresponding to increasing speech privacy are proposed and for each SPC value, one can give the probability of transmitted speech being either audible or intelligible. This makes it possible to accurately specify speech privacy criteria for meeting rooms and offices, varying from conditions of quite minimal to extremely high speech privacy, with an associated risk of a speech privacy lapse which is acceptable for each situation.

Published

2011-03-01

How to Cite

1.
Bradley J, Gover B. Speech privacy criteria for closed rooms in terms of speech privacy class (SPC) values. Canadian Acoustics [Internet]. 2011Mar.1 [cited 2021Apr.13];39(1):3-10. Available from: https://jcaa.caa-aca.ca/index.php/jcaa/article/view/2324

Issue

Section

Technical Articles