The Importance of Voice Intelligibility in Mass Notification Systems

Intelligibility is a measure of how easy it is to understand a voice message.

During major emergencies, accurate and timely voice warnings to all affected people are among the most important factors to successfully protect lives.

Mass Notification Systems (MNS) can cover indoor and outdoor areas using a variety of methods, but the single best way of reaching the maximum number of people in the shortest amount of time is by intelligible voice messages.

Intelligibility is a measure of how easy it is to understand a voice message, such as a live public address (PA) or a pre-recorded message delivered from an MNS.

When designing an MNS for maximum intelligibility, some conditions to consider include the level of background noise, reverberation and the properties of the communication system.

An important consideration for the intelligibility of messages delivered by any system that uses multiple speakers is the perfect optimization of these acoustic devices in terms of location and characteristics. If the speakers delivering the message are not in complete synchronization, then different parts of the message may arrive at the listener’s locations at different times, making it much more difficult to understand. Acoustic modeling is imperative to reach maximum and optimal performance.

The ATI team with experts in acoustics can design the best system for you. For more information, visit

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