Desktop version

Home arrow Engineering arrow Building Acoustics




Intelligibility is the ability to understand speech under given conditions.

Of course, while there are situations where one wants good intelligibility (e.g., for the listener of a speaker in a conference hall or for a traveler attempting to listen to the PA system), there also are situations where one does not want to be disturbed by undue speech (e.g., in a open-plan office); there are even situations where one wants to make sure speech is not understood (e.g., in banks).

Several levels of understanding can be identified:

  • • Discretion is a situation where a sizable part of the speech signal is not understood by a listener, thus limiting the annoyance created by the speaker. This is the best one can achieve in an open space.
  • • Privacy is a situation where speech is not understood under normal circumstances. This implies partitions (open space is ruled out).
  • • Security is a situation where speech is not understood under any circumstance.
Found a mistake? Please highlight the word and press Shift + Enter  
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Related topics