Differences in voice quality between men and women: Use of the long-term average spectrum (LTAS)

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      The goal of this study was to determine if there are acoustical differences between male and female voices, and if there are, where exactly do these differences lie. Extended speech samples were used. The recorded readings of a text by 31 women and by 24 men were analyzed by means of the Long-term Spectrum (LTAS), extracting the amplitude values (in decibels) at intervals of 160 Hz over a range of 8 kHz. The results showed a significant difference between genders, as well as an interaction of gender and frequency level. The female voice showed greater levels of aspiration noise, located in the spectral regions corresponding to the third formant, which causes the female voice to have a more “breathy” quality than the male voice. The lower spectral tilt in the women's voices is another consequence of this presence of greater aspiration noise.
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