Schaan, Liechtenstein (December 23, 2005)–In this post-9/11 world, more and more audio systems and installations are being asked to perform double duty, serving also as “life and safety” audio systems in the event of an emergency. This used to be the province only of large distributed paging or dedicated emergency systems. Although such systems are in place in many buildings, there are far more and often larger venue sound systems typically in place at thousands of other locations. Local, national and international regulations are now either requiring speech intelligibility testing for this critical aspect, or are gradually moving towards such testing requirements for reinforcement systems as well.
STI-PA testing, as standardized by TNO and also meeting ISO requirements, is the preferred method for testing amplified systems. Typical testing involves playing a special STI-PA intelligibility test signal through the system. But questions always remain unless the system is tested completely, starting right at the microphone. With the introduction of the TalkBox, combined with the truly portable STI-PA speech intelligibility measurements in the AL1 Acoustilyzer, sound systems may be tested for STI-PA speech intelligibility from end-to-end, where a simple intelligibility measurement could possibly make the difference between life and death–reducing both injuries and mitigating potentially huge liability claims.
The TalkBox is an acoustically calibrated sound source, which also includes digital playback of intelligibility and other test signals without relying on optical discs, hard disks, or any other moving parts. STI-PA has been designed to simplify the mathematical challenging STI measurements without ignoring the need for some correlation to other STI measurements. NTI’s implementation is both truly portable and fully certified.
The recently introduced TalkBox completes the system by offering a robust acoustical source enabling facilities’ staff, contractors or government workers and regulatory personnel to simply test the complete environment. Standard and raised test voices are available to cope with the Lombard effect.
“For the success in the installation market, it is extremely important to offer complete turnkey solutions that are foolproof and easy to operate,” says Philipp Schwizer, CEO of NTI AG. “With the availability of this new generation measurement systems the intelligibility measurement market has just started to grow.”