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Volume 104, Issue 3, September 1998
- SPEECH PROCESSING AND COMMUNICATION SYSTEMS 
104(1998); http://dx.doi.org/10.1121/1.424373View Description Hide Description
The Speech Intelligibility Index (SII) was measured for Navy divers participating in two saturation deep dives and for a group of nondivers to test different communication systems and their components. These SIIs were validated using the Speech Perception in Noise (SPIN) test and the Griffiths version of the Modified Rhyme Test (GMRT). Our goal was to determine if either of these assessments was sensitive enough to provide an objective measure of speech intelligibility when speech was processed through different helmets and helium speech unscramblers (HSUs). Results indicated that SII values and percent intelligibility decreased incrementally as background noise level increased. SIIs were very reliable across the different groups of subjects indicating that the SII was a strong measurement for predicting speech intelligibility to compare linear system components such as helmets. The SII was not useful in measuring intelligibility through nonlinear devices such as HSUs. The speech intelligibility scores on the GMRT and SPIN tests were useful when the system component being compared had a large measurable difference, such as in helmet type. However, when the differences were more subtle, such as differences in HSUs, neither the SPIN nor the GMRT appeared sensitive enough to make such distinctions. These results have theoretical as well as practical value for measuring the quality and intelligibility of helium speech enhancement systems.