Advertisement

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

      This paper is only available as a PDF. To read, Please Download here.

      Summary

      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.
      To read this article in full you will need to make a payment

      Purchase one-time access:

      Academic & Personal: 24 hour online accessCorporate R&D Professionals: 24 hour online access
      One-time access price info
      • For academic or personal research use, select 'Academic and Personal'
      • For corporate R&D use, select 'Corporate R&D Professionals'

      Subscribe:

      Subscribe to Journal of Voice
      Already a print subscriber? Claim online access
      Already an online subscriber? Sign in
      Institutional Access: Sign in to ScienceDirect

      References

        • O'Kane M
        Recognition of speech and recognition of speaker sex: parallel or concurrent processes?.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1990; 82: S84
        • Wu K
        • Childers DG
        Gender recognition from speech. Part I. Coarse analysis.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1991; 90: 1820-1840
        • Murry T
        • Singh S
        Multidimensional analysis of male and female voices.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1980; 68: 1294-1300
        • Henton CG
        Tact and fiction in the description of female and male pitch.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1987; 82: S91
        • Hollien H
        • Malzik E
        Evaluation of cross-sectional studies of adolescent voice changes in males.
        Speech Monograph. 1967; 34: 80-84
        • Saxman J
        • Burk K
        Speaking fundamental frequency characteristics of middle-aged female.
        Folia Phoniatr (Basel). 1967; 19: 167-172
        • Stoicheff M
        Speaking fundamental frequency characteristics of non-smoking female adults.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1981; 24: 437-441
        • Monsen RB
        • Engebretson AM
        Study of variations in the male and female glottal wave.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1977; 62: 981-993
        • Klatt DH
        • Klatt LC
        Analysis, synthesis and perception of voice quality variations among female and male talkers.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1990; 87: 820-857
        • Linke CE
        A study of pitch characteristics of female and their relationship to vocal effectiveness.
        Folia Phoniatr (Basel). 1973; 25: 173-185
        • Titze IR
        Physiological and acoustic differences between male and female voices.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1989; 85: 1699-1707
        • Daniloff R
        • Schuckers G
        • Feth L
        The physiology of speech and hearing. An introduction.
        Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ1980
        • Woods N
        • College L
        It's not what she says. It's the way that she says it: The influence of speaker-sex on pitch and into-national patterns.
        Res Speech Percept Indiana University. 1992; 18 (Progress Report): 84-95
        • Coleman RO
        A comparison of the contributions of two voice quality characteristics to the perception of maleness and femaleness in the voice.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1976; 19: 168-180
        • Bladon A
        Acoustic phonetics, auditory phonetics, speaker sex and speech recognition: a thread.
        in: Fallside F Woods A Computer speech processing. Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ1983
        • Henton C
        • Bladon R
        Breathiness in normal female speech: inefficiency versus desirability.
        Lang Commun. 1985; 5: 221-227
        • Klatt DH
        Detailed spectral analysis of a female voice.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1986; 81: S80
        • Löfqvist A
        • Manderson B
        Long-time average spectrum of speech and voice analysis.
        Folia Phoniatr (Basel). 1987; 39: 221-229
        • Childers DG
        • Wu K
        • Hicks DM
        Factors in voice quality: acoustic features related to gender.
        in: Proceeding of IEEE International Conference of Acoustics, Speech Signal Processing. 1. 1987: 293-296
        • Childers DG
        • Wu K
        • Hicks DM
        • Yegnarayana B
        Voice conversion.
        Speech Commun. 1989; 8: 147-158
        • Childers DG
        • Wu K
        Gender recognition from speech. Part II. Fine analysis.
        J Acoust Soc Am. 1991; 90: 1841-1856
        • Tarnóczy T
        • Fant G
        Some remarks on the average speech spectrum.
        in: Speech Transmission Laboratory. Quarterly Progress and Status Reports. 4. Royal Institute of Technology, 1964: 13-14
        • Schlorhaufer W
        • Müller WG
        • Hussl B
        • Scharfetter L
        Energieverteilung und Dynamik bei der Mutationsfistelstimme im Vergleich zur Normalstimme.
        Folia Phoniatr (Basel). 1972; 24: 7-18
      1. O'Shaughnessy D Speech communication: human and machine. Addison-Wesley, Woburn, MA1987
        • Titze IR
        • Winholtz WS
        Effect of microphone type and placement on voice perturbation measurements.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1993; 36: 1177-1190
      2. Rabiner L Schafer R Digital processing of speech signals. Prentice-Hall, Englewoods Cliffs, NJ1978
        • Shoji K
        • Regenbogen E
        • Yu JD
        • Blaugrund E
        High-frequency components of normal and dysphonic voices.
        J Voice. 1991; 5: 29-35
        • Valencia N
        • Mendoza E
        • Mateo I
        • Carballo G
        High-frequency components of normal and dysphonic voices.
        J Voice. 1994; 8: 157-162
        • Nittrouer S
        • McGowan RS
        • Milenkovic PH
        • Beehler D
        Acoustic measurements of men's and women's voices: a study of context effects and covariations.
        J Speech Hear Res. 1990; 33: 761-775
        • Kuwabara H
        • Ohgushi K
        Experiments on voice qualities of vowels in males and females and correlation with acoustic features.
        Lang Speech. 1884; 27 (Part 2): 135-145