It has been 10 years since NTi Audio introduced STIPA for Speech Intelligibility measurements to their handheld instruments. In this time it has grown to become the accepted industry standard, and the NTi Audio Solution has become the most-used STIPA system in the world. As STIPA now enters its second decade, let us reflect on the early years and how the process evolved through active interaction with international standards committees.
On the recommendation of Thomas Steinbrecher, Senior Designer at BOSE Acoustic Professional, the algorithms for the STIPA measurement process were added to the NTi Audio instruments. Working with the international standards committees, NTi Audio contributed to the ongoing development of speech intelligibility measurement. Over time the STIPA method has been improved, ensuring an even higher correlation to the subjective human perception of intelligibility of speech.
Thomas Steinbrecher reminisces, "In the days before STIPA, speech intelligibility measurements were carried out by only a few experts, usually employing complex and expensive instruments. The tipping point in STIPA development came from the simplification of the process so that the measurements could be practically performed by anyone. This is exactly what NTi achieved with their precise integration of the method into handheld measurement devices. The fortunate consequence is that the intelligibility of announcements, particularly at airports, railway stations and other public buildings, has improved massively in the last decade. We are pleased that we were able to make a positive contribution."
“And we at NTi Audio are proud to have nurtured such an important breakthrough in clear communications”, adds Philipp Schwizer, CEO of NTi Audio.
The NTi Audio instruments measure the intelligibility of public announcements through the entire system chain; from the speaker's mouth through the announcement microphone and the loudspeakers to the listener's ear. The TalkBox provides a reference acoustic sound source while the handheld XL2 measures the speech intelligibility at any point within the entire public arena. Given the ease of use, coupled with comprehensive functionality and automatically-generated measurement reports, the NTi Audio Solution is the world’s most-used STIPA system. The speech intelligibility measurement is carried out in accordance with the IEC 60268-16 standards from 2011, 2003 and 1998. The handheld XL2 provides statistical averages, modulation indices, and the ability to add background noise to the results at the time of measurement, while the consultant is still in the field, and all without requiring any interaction with a PC.