In this paper, standard echo canceller performance measures are evaluated in terms of psychoacoustic aspects of human hearing. The focus is on wideband speech communications systems with long round-trip delays of 200 ms and up present in the transmission path. The results of a simple acoustic echo cancellation experiment are analyzed with a standard psychoacoustic model, revealing that steady-state echo return loss enhancement and mean square error cannot be used to determine whether residual echo is perceivable in the presence of background noise. In addition, a simple modification to the normalized least mean square (NLMS) algorithm is introduced by adding a perceptual preemphasis filter. Simulation results and listening tests show that it is possible to improve the perceived performance of an echo canceller during convergence by placing greater emphasis on frequencies at which the human auditory system is most sensitive.

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Keywords Adaptive signal processing, Echo cancellation, Psychoacoustics, Voice-over-IP, Wideband telephony
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Journal IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing
Gordy, J.D. (James D.), & Goubran, R. (2006). On the perceptual performance limitations of echo cancellers in wideband telephony. In IEEE Transactions on Audio, Speech and Language Processing (Vol. 14, pp. 33–42). doi:10.1109/TSA.2005.860375