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People with hearing difficulties volunteer for TV sound experiment

Wednesday 26 July 2017

A SCIENCE experiment in Salford is looking for volunteers over 50 or with hearing difficulties to help improve the use of sound in television programs.

The study, which is being carried out by researchers at the University of Salford is looking at how different parts of broadcast sound, such as sound effects, music and background noise can affect whether speech can be fully understood.

The team at the University of Salford work closely with the BBC as well as other universities and industrial partners to develop new audio techniques for broadcast and Lauren is a regular TV sound commentator on BBC Radio Manchester.

The next generation

PhD Student, Lauren Ward said: “With next generation broadcast technology, termed ‘object based broadcasting’, we will have a greater ability to personalise broadcast content from our own homes.

“In particular for Hard of Hearing listeners, this technology gives the potential for people to change the balance between the dialogue and other sounds in the broadcast, based on their needs.

“To make sure theend-user can get the most out of this new technology, we need to betterunderstand the relationship between non-speech sounds, speech and understandingfor different listener groups. That’s what this experiment is aiming to do.”


Volunteers willbe asked to come to the University’s state-of-the-art Acoustic Research Centre, to attend a listening test, in which participants will be shown a number ofscenarios with different levels of speech and background noise to see whatmakes sound easier for viewers to understand.

Those wanting toparticipate in the experiment are asked to fill out the survey, found here: or bycontacting Lauren Ward directly, at

The experimentswill be running on the 26th and 27 of July and the 4th, 8thand 9th of August.

For information contact Lauren Ward,Acoustics Research Centre, University of Salford, M5 4WT.