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JPH10294990

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DESCRIPTION JPH10294990
[0001]
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION 1. Field of the Invention The present invention relates to an
audio signal processing apparatus in which an output range of sound volume is set according to
the listener's hearing or environmental noise in an audio reproduction apparatus.
[0002]
2. Description of the Related Art In sound reproduction devices such as televisions, radios, audio
equipment, telephones etc., people with hearing loss as in elderly people (impaired people) and
even hearing people hear loud audio signals under high noise When you feel the lack of volume
of sound reproduction equipment often. When the volume is increased, noise emission may occur
or the secrecy may be lost, and some sound reproduction devices may have the maximum
volume regulated. As described above, when service at a sufficient volume is not possible, it may
be difficult for a person such as an elderly person to hear the voice to lose hearing.
[0003]
When the deaf person uses the sound reproducing device, the sound pressure is insufficient at
the volume set by the hearing person, and therefore the volume is often increased
indiscriminately. However, the volume is often set more than necessary in view of the hearing
person, and the deaf person does not notice this. From such a point of view, it is desired to realize
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1
an audio signal processing apparatus which enables a hearing impaired person to set the
minimum necessary volume. Thus, with the advent of the elderly society in recent years, it is
predicted that the demand for speech signal processing devices for the elderly will increase.
Hereinafter, an example of the above-described conventional voice signal processing apparatus
for elderly people will be described with reference to the drawings.
[0004]
FIG. 10 is a block diagram of a conventional audio signal processing apparatus which makes it
easy for a deaf person to hear the sound by controlling the sound quality on the high frequency
side. The audio signal processing apparatus 100 is configured to include an equalizer 101, a
sound quality controller 102, an amplifier 103, a volume controller 104, and a speaker 105.
[0005]
The operation of the audio signal processing apparatus 100 having such a configuration will be
described. The audio signal input to the equalizer 101 is enhanced in high frequency in
accordance with the setting amount of the sound quality adjuster 102, and is output to the
amplifier 103. The audio signal input to the amplifier 103 is amplified according to the set
amount of the volume controller 104 and output to the speaker 105. Then, the sound expanded
from the speaker 105 reaches the ear of the viewer.
[0006]
By emphasizing the high frequency component of the audio signal by the sound quality
adjustment unit 102, the audio signal processing apparatus 100 can clearly listen to the audio
without increasing the sound volume even to the elderly person whose hearing ability in the high
region is deteriorated. It is
[0007]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION However, in the above configuration, when the sound quality is
controlled by the equalizer 101, deterioration of the sound quality is felt strongly not only by the
people in the vicinity but also by the elderly themselves. Improved, but the sound quality was
significantly impaired.
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2
Furthermore, it is not sufficient to emphasize high-frequency components for elderly people with
impaired hearing, and the user operates the volume controller 104 to listen at a large volume.
For this reason, when using a sound reproduction apparatus in a housing complex etc., it also
had the problem of giving noise pollution to the next house. In addition, when the sound
reproducing apparatus is used at a volume near the maximum rating, there is also a problem that
even if the volume is increased, it can not be clearly heard because of distortion of the sound and
the occurrence of chattering.
[0008]
The present invention has been made in view of such conventional problems, and the
deterioration of sound quality and the amplification of a low-level audio signal which is difficult
to hear without making the maximum volume louder. It is an object of the present invention to
realize an audio signal processing apparatus which has no concern of noise pollution and which
is very easy to adjust.
[0009]
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION In order to solve such problems, the invention according to claim
1 of the present application is a variable gain amplification means for amplifying an input speech
signal with a preset gain, and the variable gain amplification. Means for suppressing the output
signal to the maximum output level when the input level of the audio signal amplified by the
means exceeds a preset threshold level; and first control means for controlling the gain of the
variable gain amplification means And second control means for setting the maximum output
level of the output limiting means.
[0010]
The invention according to claim 2 of the present application is a variable gain amplification
means for amplifying an input voice signal with a preset gain, a first control means for
controlling the gain of the variable gain amplification means, and the variable gain amplification
means. Band division means for dividing the audio signal amplified in step into respective band
components, and when the input level of the speech signal of each band divided by the band
division means exceeds a preset threshold level, The plurality of output limiting means provided
for each band to suppress to the maximum output level, the second control means for setting the
maximum output level of the output audio signal, and the control values inputted from the
second control means An output audio signal is generated by calculating the maximum output
level for each band and adding the output signal of each output limiting means and the maximum
output level setting means for giving the calculation result of each band to each output limiting
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3
means. It is characterized in that it comprises adding means, a.
[0011]
In the invention according to claim 3 of the present application, when the input audio signal
becomes the maximum input signal from the gain set by the first control means and the
maximum output level set by the second control means It is characterized in that it has display
means for displaying whether or not the output signal is in a suppressed state.
[0012]
In the invention according to claim 4 of the present application, at least one of the maximum
input signal of the input speech signal is obtained from the gain set by the first control means
and the maximum output level set by the second control means. It is characterized by having
display means for displaying whether or not the output signal is suppressed in the band.
[0013]
In the invention according to claim 5 of the present application, the first control means has a first
rotary knob as an operation part for setting a gain, and the second control means performs an
operation for setting a maximum output level. A second rotation knob coaxial with the first knob
rotation as a part, and an output signal is suppressed when the input sound signal becomes the
maximum input signal on the outer peripheral part of the first and second rotation knobs It is
characterized in that a display means is provided for informing whether or not it is in the
[0014]
The invention according to claim 6 of the present application electrically displays the gain set by
the first control means and the maximum output level set by the second control means, and the
input audio signal is maximum. A display device is provided to indicate whether or not the output
signal is suppressed when it becomes an input signal.
[0015]
The invention according to claim 7 of the present application is provided with a detection means
for detecting that the output signal is suppressed at the maximum input signal of the input
speech signal, and a display means for displaying the detection result of the detection means. It is
characterized by
[0016]
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4
DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS (First Embodiment) An audio signal
processing apparatus according to a first embodiment of the present invention will be described
with reference to FIGS.
FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an audio signal processing apparatus 10 according to the present
embodiment.
The audio signal processing apparatus 10 includes a variable gain amplifying unit 11, an output
limiting unit 12, a first control unit 13, a second control unit 14, and a speaker 15.
[0017]
The first control means 13 is a means for controlling the gain of the variable gain amplification
means 11.
The output limiting means 12 is a means for suppressing the output below the maximum output
level when the output signal level approaches the preset maximum output level.
The second control means 14 is a means for setting the maximum output level of the output
limiting means 12 to an arbitrary value.
The output signal of the output limiting means 12 is converted to voice by the speaker 15.
[0018]
The audio signal processing apparatus 10 having such a configuration will be described with
reference to FIGS. 2 to 4.
First, an input audio signal such as a television or radio is given to the variable gain amplification
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means 11.
Then, it is amplified by the variable gain amplification means 11 in accordance with the gain set
by the first control means 13.
FIG. 2 shows the relationship between the set value of the gain of the variable gain amplification
means 11 and the input / output level. Since the variable gain amplification means 11 is an
amplifier of a speech signal, the output level rises in proportion to the input level, but the output
levels rise in the order of gains G1, G2 and G3 even with the same input level.
[0019]
Next, the signal amplified by the variable gain amplification means 11 is input to the output
limiting means 12 and the output level is limited so as not to exceed the maximum output level
M set by the second control means 14. FIG. 3 shows the relationship between the set value M of
the maximum output level of the output limiting means 12 and the input / output level. In the
characteristic of m1, when the input level rises, the output level also rises, but when the input
level exceeds a certain threshold, the output value is saturated at the level of M1. In the
characteristic of m3, when the input level rises, the threshold value also increases, and the output
level also rises, and the output value can change up to the level of M3.
[0020]
When the variable gain amplifying means 11 and the output limiting means 12 are connected in
cascade as shown in FIG. 1, the input / output characteristics thereof are as shown in FIG. FIG. 4
shows the relationship between the input level and the output level when the maximum output
level is a fixed value. When the input level changes from a0 to b0, the output level changes in
proportion to the input level in the characteristic n1, and the output level does not saturate at
least in the range from a1 to b1. In the characteristic n3, when the input level is low, the output
level rises in proportion to the input level, but when the input level becomes larger than a certain
value, the output level is saturated at b3.
[0021]
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The user of the sound reproducing apparatus first determines the maximum power level
permitted from the surrounding environment, and sets the maximum power level M by the
second control means 14. For example, the maximum output level is set to M1 at night, M3 at
daytime, and low if the sound leakage to the next house is large, and otherwise high. After that,
the gain G is simply adjusted by the first control means 13 in order to obtain the desired volume
level within the permitted range.
[0022]
Now, it is assumed that this audio signal processing apparatus is set to the maximum output level
b2 or b3 shown in FIG. When a sound listener uses this audio signal processing apparatus, for
example, the characteristic n1 of FIG. 4 is adjusted. Assuming that the dynamic range of the
audio signal of the television or radio is within the range of a0 to b0 in FIG. 4, the hearing person
operates the first control means 13 and the first control means 14 to characterize the gain n1.
And the signal of the lowest input level of a0 is amplified to the output level of a1 and output. In
this way, you can listen to the audio enough. In this characteristic, since the signal at the highest
input level of b0 is amplified to the output level b1, the output level is not suppressed for a
hearing person, and reproduction faithful to the volume change of the original sound can be
performed.
[0023]
However, when used by the elderly, if the gain is set to the same characteristic n1 as that of the
hearing person, the sound of the input level a1, which is the lowest level of the dynamic range,
can not be heard. For this reason, the first control means 13 of FIG. 1 is adjusted to increase the
gain more than in the case of the characteristic n1. For example, in the case of an elderly person
who can hear if the sound is at a level of a2 or higher, the characteristic n2 may be set. In this
way, you can hear the lowest level of the dynamic range. On the other hand, since the sound at
the highest level in the dynamic range is suppressed to the level b2 and output, it is possible to
avoid problems such as noise pollution. In addition, elderly people whose hearing ability is
further deteriorated and who can hear only sounds with an output level of a3 or more further
increase the gain to adjust to the characteristic n3. Also in this case, the output is suppressed to
the maximum output level b3 or less.
[0024]
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7
As described above, the audio signal processing apparatus 10 according to the present
embodiment can adjust the gain G only after the maximum output level M is appropriately set,
and it is free from the hearing person to the elderly people of various hearing levels. It can be
understood that it is possible to provide an audio signal which is clear and less in noise pollution.
Further, it is possible to realize an audio signal processing apparatus whose adjustment is
extremely easy without causing deterioration of sound quality or noise pollution as in the
conventional example.
[0025]
Second Embodiment Next, an audio signal processing apparatus according to a second
embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 5 is a block
diagram of the audio signal processing device 50 in the present embodiment. The audio signal
processing device 50 includes a variable gain amplifying unit 51, a band dividing unit 52, output
limiting units 53a to 53c, a first control unit 54, a second control unit 55, a maximum output
level setting unit 56, an adding unit 57, A speaker 58 is included. Here, variable gain amplifying
means 51 and output limiting means 53a to 53c are the same as variable gain amplifying means
11 and output limiting means 12 in the first embodiment, respectively, and description thereof
will be omitted.
[0026]
In this embodiment, attention is paid to the fact that the low frequency component of sound
particularly relates to noise pollution, and that the higher the hearing ability of the elderly is the
higher, the output level of each band using the band dividing means 52 Was configured to be
able to And it is possible to set the optimum maximum output level for each frequency band in
such a way that the maximum output level is low in the low band and high in the high band.
Here, the user of the sound reproduction apparatus inputs information on whether it is night or
day, and information on whether the sound leakage to the next house is large or small through
the second control means 55. Further, the highest output level setting means 56 calculates the
highest output level for each band from the input value of the second control means 55, and sets
the highest output level for each band.
[0027]
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8
Also in this case, control is performed as in the first embodiment. That is, when the hearing
person listens to the voice, the gain G is set so that the suppression of the output level does not
occur, and the deterioration of the sound quality due to the strength of the voice signal does not
occur. In the case of the elderly, the gain G is increased to make it easy to hear even low input
level speech, and to suppress only the high output level signal part. This will only change the
sound quality of the high power level voice.
[0028]
According to the present embodiment, it is possible to provide a service at a higher sound
pressure level in the high region than in the case of the first embodiment, and to realize a voice
signal processing apparatus that can cope with elderly people with more advanced hearing
deterioration. Can.
[0029]
Third Embodiment Next, an audio signal processing apparatus according to a third embodiment
of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG.
FIG. 6 shows a part of the configuration of the audio signal processing device 60 in the present
embodiment, and an external view of the first control means 61 and the second control means 62
is shown. The audio signal processing apparatus according to this embodiment is characterized
in that the operability of the first control means and the second control means in the first and
second embodiments is devised. FIG. 6 shows only the operation part of this block. The other
blocks are the same as in the first or second embodiment, and thus the description of the
configuration and operation will be omitted.
[0030]
As shown in FIG. 6A, the first control means 61 is composed of a variable resistor, and a setting
indication 63 is provided around the rotary knob. Numerals 1, 2 and 3 of the setting indication
63 are numbers corresponding to the gain G. The second control means 62 shown in FIG. 6B is
formed of a rotary switch, and a setting display 64 is provided around the rotary knob. Numerals
1, 2 and 3 of the setting display 64 are numbers corresponding to the maximum output level M.
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[0031]
The setting display 63 is rotational position information for notifying at which position or more
of the variable resistor the output signal is suppressed at the maximum input signal according to
the setting value of the second control means 62. The setting value of the rotary switch is, for
example, 1 at night, 2 at daytime, 3 at the sound-insulated place, etc. The larger the number of
the setting display 64, the higher the maximum output level.
[0032]
According to the present embodiment, it is possible to easily determine from the set state of the
rotary switch how far the variable resistor is turned to start deterioration of the sound quality,
and an extremely easy-to-use audio signal processing apparatus can be realized.
[0033]
Fourth Embodiment Next, an audio signal processing apparatus according to a fourth
embodiment of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG.
FIG. 7 shows a part of the configuration of the audio signal processing device 70 in the present
embodiment, and an external view of the first control means 71 and the second control means 72
is shown. The audio signal processing apparatus according to this embodiment is characterized
in that the operability is further improved by integrating the operation parts of the first control
means and the second control means in the third embodiment. FIG. 7 shows only the operation
part of this block, and the other blocks are the same as in the third embodiment, so the
description of the configuration and operation will be omitted.
[0034]
In FIG. 7, the variable resistor which constitutes the first control means 71 and the rotary switch
which constitutes the second control means 72 are coaxially installed to form a double structure
knob. The setting display 73 combines the setting display of the variable resistor and the setting
display of the rotary switch. For example, when the knob of the rotary switch is set to the “1”
08-05-2019
10
position, when the setting of the knob of the variable resistor exceeds the “1” position, the
output is increased when the input audio signal exceeds the threshold and becomes large. Begin
to be suppressed. When the knob of the rotary switch is set to the "2" position, when the knob
setting of the variable resistor is "1", the audio output is not saturated, and when it exceeds the
"2" position, the audio output starts to be suppressed .
[0035]
According to the present embodiment, from the setting state of the knob of the second control
means 72, it can be easily determined whether the deterioration of the sound quality starts if the
knob of the first control means 71 is turned as far as possible. Therefore, an audio signal
processing apparatus that is easier to use than in the case of FIG.
[0036]
Fifth Embodiment An audio signal processing apparatus according to a fifth embodiment of the
present invention will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 8 is a block diagram of the audio
signal processing device 80 according to the present embodiment. The audio signal processing
apparatus 80 includes a display driving means 81 and a display device in addition to the variable
gain amplifying means 11, the output limiting means 12, the first control means 13, the second
control means 14 and the speaker 15 shown in FIG. 82 is provided. The display device 82
displays the setting states of the first control means 13 and the second control means 14 in an
easy-to-understand manner. The other blocks are the same as in the first embodiment, and thus
the description of the configuration and operation will be omitted.
[0037]
In the display device 82, the setting value of the gain G inputted from the first control means 13
and the maximum output level M inputted from the second control means 14 are displayed in a
bar graph by the operation of the display driving means 81. . In this embodiment, an example is
shown in which the set value of the gain is indicated by the length of the bar graph, and the
presence or absence of the possibility of suppression is indicated by color. As the gain increases,
the black bar graph expands, and the bar graph changes to white above the gain at which the
maximum output level begins to be suppressed.
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[0038]
According to the present embodiment, an audio signal processing apparatus that is easier to use
than that shown in FIG. 7 can be realized.
[0039]
Such a display device 82 can also be used in the second embodiment.
Since this display device can easily increase the display content, from the gain set by the first
control means 54 of FIG. 5 and the maximum output level set by the second control means 55,
the maximum input signal of the input audio signal Sometimes it can also be displayed whether
at least one band is in a state where the output signal is suppressed. Further, display units can be
provided corresponding to the output limiting means 53a to 53c, respectively, and it can be
displayed whether the output is in the output limiting state for each band.
[0040]
Sixth Embodiment Next, an audio signal processing apparatus according to a sixth embodiment
of the present invention will be described with reference to FIG. FIG. 9 is a block diagram of the
audio signal processing apparatus 90 in the present embodiment. The audio signal processing
apparatus 90 includes a detection unit 91 and a display unit 92 in addition to the variable gain
amplification unit 11, the output restriction unit 12, the first control unit 13, the second control
unit 14 and the speaker 15 of FIG. It is further characterized in that it is provided. The detection
means 91 is a means for detecting the suppression state of the output signal, and the display
means 92 is a means for displaying the output result of the detection means 91 by light emission
such as an LED. The other blocks are the same as in the first embodiment, and thus the
description of the configuration and operation will be omitted.
[0041]
The detection means 91 detects that the output signal is suppressed from the signal extracted
from the output restriction means 12 and turns on the LED of the display means 92 to notify the
user.
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12
[0042]
According to the present embodiment, since the gain and the maximum output level can be
adjusted while confirming the operation of the audio output suppression processing, more
accurate setting becomes possible than that of FIG. A processing device can be realized.
[0043]
As described above, according to the first to seventh aspects of the invention, when the sound
reproducing apparatus is used at various volume levels, it is possible to reach from the hearing
person to the elderly person of various hearing ability. Audio can be output without deterioration
of sound quality or noise pollution.
Moreover, adjustment of the volume is easy.
[0044]
In particular, according to the second aspect of the present invention, it is possible to realize a
voice signal processing apparatus capable of service at a higher sound pressure level in the high
region and capable of dealing with elderly people with advanced hearing deterioration.
[0045]
In particular, according to the inventions of claims 3 to 5, by providing the display means, it can
be easily judged if the gain is increased to the point where the deterioration of the sound quality
starts, and an extremely easy-to-use audio signal processing apparatus can be realized.
[0046]
In particular, according to the fifth aspect of the present invention, it is possible to easily confirm
the setting state when operating the knob, and it is possible to realize an audio signal processing
apparatus which can easily perform appropriate adjustment.
[0047]
In particular, according to the sixth aspect of the present invention, by providing the display
device, the setting state can be easily confirmed when the knob is operated.
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13
In addition, the volume can be improved, accurate adjustment can be easily performed, and an
audio signal processing apparatus with high listening performance can be realized.
[0048]
In particular, according to the seventh aspect of the present invention, by providing the detection
means and the display means, it is possible to adjust the gain and the maximum output level
while confirming the operation of the suppression processing.
In addition, accurate volume setting can be performed, and an audio signal processing apparatus
that is easy to use and highly effective can be realized.
[0049]
Although the above effect is an effect supposing speaker loud-speaking devices, such as
television and radio for elderly people, it is also possible to use headphone stereo etc. for hearing
loss prevention of a hearing person.
Furthermore, it can be used as an apparatus capable of clear communication with low power in
an apparatus such as a mobile phone which is strongly restricted in power supply capacity and
speaker performance.
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