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JP2004135220

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DESCRIPTION JP2004135220
An object of the present invention is to make it possible for even a person with deteriorated
hearing characteristics to hear various sounds without omission. SOLUTION: An audible range
setting unit 7 sets a user's audible frequency range by changing the frequency of a reference
voice signal generated from a reference signal generation unit 6 in the hearing test mode, and
input from the voice input unit 1 in the normal mode A dynamic range correction unit 2 for
correcting the dynamic range of the voice signal to be contained within the audible frequency
range set by the audible range setting unit 7 to hear the voice of the frequency that can not be
heard due to the hearing loss By converting into frequency band voice, it is possible to hear the
sound of the hat which can not normally be heard through the correction. [Selected figure] Figure
1
Voice correction device
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to a
voice correction apparatus, and is particularly suitable for use in a voice correction apparatus
that corrects a voice signal in accordance with hearing impairments different in symptoms
among individuals. [0002] [Patent Document 1] Japanese Patent Application Laid-Open No. 11103226 [Patent Document 2] Japanese Patent Application Laid-open No. 5-316597 In recent
years, aging has progressed, and distribution of drivers is also in the advanced age group It is
sliding in the direction. As you get older, your hearing characteristics may decline. That is, in the
elderly, the dynamic range of the audio frequency range tends to be narrower than that of the
hearing person. In addition, even in the case of a non-elderly person, even if a young person
suffers from hearing loss due to the influence of a headphone or the like, the dynamic range of
the audible frequency range is narrower than that of a hearing person. [0003] However, even if
such hearing loss has occurred, driving is often performed as it is. In this case, there has been a
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problem that the danger level of driving is increased, for example, it is difficult to properly hear a
stepping noise outside the vehicle, a horn, a siren of an emergency vehicle, or a warning sound or
blinker sound in the vehicle. In addition, it becomes difficult to listen to the guidance voice of the
navigation device and the radio and music of the car audio device. Therefore, there was also a
problem that it was not possible to truly enjoy the many convenient functions and entertainment
functions. The present invention has been made to solve such a problem, and it is an object of the
present invention to make it possible for even a person with impaired hearing characteristics to
hear various sounds without omission. SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to solve the
above-mentioned problems, in the voice correction device of the present invention, the frequency
of the reference voice signal is varied to set the user's audible frequency range, and input is
performed. The dynamic range of the audio signal to be corrected is corrected to fall within the
set audio frequency range. Alternatively, the dynamic range of the input audio signal may be
corrected so as to fall within a frequency range wider than the set audio frequency range by a
predetermined offset. According to the present invention configured as described above, since
the voice of the frequency that can not be originally heard due to the hearing loss is converted to
the voice of the audible frequency band, even a person with deteriorated hearing characteristics
can receive various voices. It becomes possible to hear without omission. Further, for example,
with regard to an audio signal such as music, it is possible to give depth to actually heard music
by the sound of a portion which can not be heard, by converting it into a frequency band slightly
wider than the audible frequency range.
BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION An embodiment of the present invention will
be described below with reference to the drawings. FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a
functional configuration of the speech correction apparatus according to the present
embodiment. As shown in FIG. 1, the voice correction apparatus of this embodiment includes a
voice input unit 1, a dynamic range correction unit 2, a selector 3, a voice amplification unit 4, a
speaker 5, a reference signal generation unit 6, an audible range setting unit 7 and A remote
controller (remote controller) 8 is provided. The reference signal generator 6 generates a
reference audio signal within an audible frequency range of about 20 Hz to 20 KHz which is
perceived as sound by the human ear. At this time, the reference signal generator 6 generates a
reference audio signal while gradually changing the frequency from a certain frequency toward
the low frequency side. Also, conversely, a reference voice signal is generated while gradually
changing the frequency from a certain frequency toward the high frequency side. This reference
audio signal may be a simple beep or may be a melodic voice. The reference audio signal output
from the reference audio signal generator 6 is input to the audio amplifier 4 through the selector
3. The audio amplification unit 4 amplifies the audio signal input from the selector 3 by a
predetermined amount, and outputs the amplified audio signal from the speaker 5. At this time,
the selector 3 selectively outputs the former reference audio signal among the reference audio
signal from the reference signal generator 6 and the audio signal from the dynamic range
correction unit 2 in accordance with the operation signal from the remote controller 8. Do. The
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remote controller 8 allows the user to set various information and perform various operations
with respect to an on-vehicle device (for example, a navigation device, a car audio device, etc.)
including the voice correction device of the present embodiment. And various controls (such as
buttons and joysticks). For example, using this remote control 8, the user can select either the
hearing test mode or the normal mode from the setting menu screen. When the hearing test
mode is selected, the selector 3 selects the reference audio signal from the reference signal
generator 6. On the other hand, when the normal mode is selected, the selector 3 selects the
audio signal from the dynamic range correction unit 2. In the hearing test mode, the remote
control 8 is also used to determine the user's audible frequency range (dynamic range). That is,
while listening to the reference voice signal that gradually changes from a certain frequency
toward the low frequency side from the speaker 5, the user presses the determination button
when no sound can be heard.
Further, while listening to the reference voice signal gradually changing from a certain frequency
toward the high frequency side from the speaker 5, when the sound can not be heard, the
decision button is pressed. An operation signal of the determination button is sent to the audible
range setting unit 7. The audible range setting unit 7 receives the reference audio signal
generated while gradually changing the frequency from the reference signal generation unit 6
and the operation signal of the determination button on the remote controller 8 and inputs the
timing when the determination button is pressed. Set the user's audible frequency range based
on the frequency of the reference audio signal being That is, the audible range setting unit 7 sets
the frequency of the timing at which the decision button is pressed as the minimum audio
frequency, when the frequency of the reference audio signal changes gradually and gradually
toward the low frequency side. . In addition, when the frequency of the reference audio signal is
gradually and largely changed toward the high frequency side, the frequency at the timing when
the determination button is pressed is set as the maximum audio frequency. Such setting of the
audio frequency range is performed separately for each individual user. Information of the set
audio frequency range is stored in a recording medium (not shown) for each user. Then, the
audible frequency range information of each user stored in the recording medium is used to
correct the audio signal input through the audio input unit 1. The voice input unit 1 inputs a
voice signal to be corrected (for example, guidance voice of a navigation device, radio voice of a
car audio device, music, etc.) to the voice correction device of the present embodiment. The
dynamic range correction unit 2 corrects the dynamic range so that the dynamic range falls
within the user's audible frequency range set by the audible range setting unit 7 by compressing
the frequency band of the voice signal input from the voice input unit 1. . FIG. 2 is a view
schematically showing the contents of the correction performed by the dynamic range correction
unit 2. The characteristic chart shown in FIG. 2 (a) shows the hearing characteristic of a hearing
person. In FIG. 2A, the horizontal axis represents frequency, and the vertical axis represents the
ease of hearing the sound. The audibleness of the sound is represented by the reciprocal of the
minimum audible level [dB]. That is, the middle frequency range that peaks in the graph indicates
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that the minimum audible level is the smallest. As a result of a user performing a hearing test, it
is assumed that the decision button is pressed at 40 Hz on the low frequency side and the
decision button is pressed at 16 KHz on the high frequency side. The user in this case is that the
low-pitched sound below 40 Hz and the high-pitched sound above 16 KHz are difficult to hear
due to some deafness.
Therefore, as shown in FIG. 2 (b), the dynamic range correction unit 2 has a dynamic range of
about 20 to 20 KHz for a hearing person, and all the sounds fall within a frequency range of 40
to 16 KHz. Compress. Such correction of the frequency range is performed by shifting the
frequency of the audio signal input from the audio input unit 1. Specifically, it is possible to use,
for example, the frequency compression technique described in Japanese Patent Laid-Open No.
5-316597. That is, the dynamic range of 20 to 20 KHz, which is the audible range of the hearing
person, is divided into a plurality of bands, and the following processing is performed for each of
the bands. First, while calculating the envelope component of the band-divided audio signal, the
instantaneous frequency component is calculated. Then, frequency conversion of the
instantaneous frequency component is performed by performing multiplication and division of
coefficients on the instantaneous frequency component and addition and subtraction of a
constant. Furthermore, an FM component is generated from the frequency-converted
instantaneous frequency component, and the FM component and the envelope component are
multiplied. Then, by combining the frequency-converted signals of each band in this manner, the
components of each frequency band are compressed to generate an audio signal moved to the
low frequency side or the high frequency side. By compressing the divided frequency band signal
and moving part of it to the low frequency side and moving part of it to the high frequency side,
both the low frequency side and the high frequency side are compressed as shown in FIG. It is
also possible. Next, the operation of the voice correction apparatus configured as shown in FIG. 1
will be described. First, the user operates the remote control 8 to select the hearing test mode.
FIG. 3 is a screen image showing the procedure of the hearing test. Among these, FIG. 3A shows a
predetermined setting menu screen displayed on the display device provided in the in-vehicle
apparatus. The hearing test mode can be set by selecting the item "automatic adjustment of
sound" from the setting menu screen. When the hearing test mode is selected, a message as
shown in FIG. 3B is displayed on the screen. Then, a reference audio signal is generated while
gradually changing the frequency from the reference signal generator 6, and the reference audio
signal is output from the speaker 5 through the selector 3 and the audio amplifier 4. While
listening to this reference audio signal, the user presses the enter button when no sound is heard.
This operation is performed on both the low frequency side and the high frequency side. In
response to this, the audible range setting unit 7 sets the audible frequency range of the user
based on the frequency of the reference audio signal when the determination button is pressed.
This completes the hearing test. After the hearing test is finished, an on-vehicle device such as a
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navigation device or a car audio device can be used normally. In this case, audio signals
generated by these in-vehicle devices are input from the audio input unit 1 to the audio
correction device of the present embodiment. Then, the audio signal input from the audio input
unit 1 is corrected by the dynamic range correction unit 2 as shown in FIG. 2, and the corrected
audio signal is output from the speaker 5 through the selector 3 and the audio amplification unit
4. . Although an example in which the voice correction device of the present embodiment
corrects the voice of a navigation device or car audio device is described here, a warning sound
or blinker sound in the car is input from the voice input unit 1. Correction may be made.
Alternatively, a microphone may be attached outside the vehicle, and an external stepping noise
or horn, a siren of an emergency vehicle, or the like may be input from the voice input unit 1
through the microphone and corrected. Alternatively, a microphone may be attached to the
inside of the car, and the conversation of the passenger may be corrected from the voice input
unit 1 through the microphone. FIG. 4 is a diagram schematically showing another example of
the correction performed by the dynamic range correction unit 2. Among these, FIG. 4 (a) is the
same as FIG. 2 (a). Also, it is assumed that the result of a user performing a hearing test is the
same as in the case of FIG. That is, the audible range setting unit 7 sets 40 to 16 KHz as the
audible frequency range of the user. In the example of FIG. 4B, the dynamic range correction unit
2 is so input as to fall within a frequency range wider by a predetermined offset than the audio
frequency range of 40 to 16 KHz set by the audio range setting unit 7 Correct the dynamic range
of the audio signal. For example, an offset of about 10 Hz is added to the low frequency side, and
an offset of about 1 KHz is added to the high frequency side. Although the sound of the offset
portion can not actually be heard, the sound of this portion that can not be heard can add depth
to the music within the audible frequency range that is actually heard. Therefore, it is particularly
effective when the audio signal input from the audio input unit 1 is music. Note that the offset
amount may be variable, the above-described offset may be added when the input audio signal is
music, and the offset amount may be 0 in the case of other audio signals. As described above in
detail, according to the present embodiment, by performing correction in a form that takes into
consideration hearing impairments different in symptoms among individuals, a frequency at
which audio with a frequency that can not normally be heard due to hearing loss can be heard
Since the sound is converted into band sound, even people with deteriorated hearing
characteristics can hear various sounds without omission.
As a result, it is possible to prevent an increase in the degree of danger of driving and to provide
the hearing impaired person with the merits of the navigation device and entertainment system.
It should be noted that the above embodiments are merely examples of how to embody the
present invention, and the technical scope of the present invention should not be interpreted in a
limited manner. is there. That is, the present invention can be implemented in various forms
without departing from the spirit or main features of the present invention. As described above,
according to the present invention, the frequency of the reference audio signal is varied to set the
user's audible frequency range, and the dynamic range of the input audio signal is set as audible.
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Since correction was made so as to be within the frequency range, the hearing loss would allow
the user to hear through the correction the sound of the originally unheard sound, and even
people with impaired hearing characteristics could hear various sounds without omission.
Become. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS FIG. 1 is a block diagram showing a functional
configuration of an audio correction apparatus according to an embodiment of the present
invention. FIG. 2 is a diagram schematically showing the contents of correction performed by a
dynamic range correction unit of the present embodiment; FIG. 3 is a screen image showing a
procedure of the hearing test of the present embodiment. FIG. 4 is a diagram schematically
showing another example of the correction content performed by the dynamic range correction
unit of the embodiment; Explanation of symbols 1 voice input unit 2 dynamic range correction
unit 3 selector 4 voice amplification unit 5 speaker 6 reference signal generation unit 7 audible
range setting unit 8 remote control
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