Hands-free devices are often used in a noisy and reverberant environment. Therefore, the received microphone signal does not only contain the desired near-end speech signal but also interferences such as room reverberation that is caused by the near-end source, background noise and a far-end echo signal that results from the acoustic coupling between the loudspeaker and the microphone. These interferences degrade the fidelity and intelligibility of near-end speech. In the last two decades, post filters have been developed that can be used in conjunction with a single microphone acoustic echo canceller to enhance the near-end speech. In previous works, spectral enhancement techniques have been used to suppress residual echo and background noise for single microphone acoustic echo cancellers. However, dereverberation of the near-end speech was not addressed in this context. Recently, practically feasible spectral enhancement techniques to suppress reverberation have emerged. In this paper, we derive a novel spectral variance estimator for the late reverberation of the near-end speech. Residual echo will be present at the output of the acoustic echo canceller when the acoustic echo path cannot be completely modeled by the adaptive filter. A spectral variance estimator for the so-called late residual echo that results from the deficient length of the adaptive filter is derived. Both estimators are based on a statistical reverberation model. The model parameters depend on the reverberation time of the room, which can be obtained using the estimated acoustic echo path. A novel postfilter is developed which suppresses late reverberation of the near-end speech, residual echo and background noise, and maintains a constant residual background noise level. Experimental results demonstrate the beneficial use of the developed system for reducing reverberation, residual echo, and background noise.
|Journal||IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech, and Language Processing|
|Publication status||Published - 2008|