The aim of this study was to create a single-language counterpart of the International Speech Test Signal (ISTS) and to compare both with respect to their acoustical characteristics. The development procedure of the Polish Speech Test Signal (PSTS) was analogous to the one of ISTS. The main difference was that instead of multi-lingual recordings, speech recordings of five Polish speakers were used. The recordings were cut into 100–600 ms long segments and composed into one-minute long signal, obeying a set of composition rules, imposed mainly to preserve a natural, speech-like features of the signal. Analyses revealed some differences between ISTS and PSTS. The latter has about twice as high volume of voiceless fragments of speech. PSTS’s sound pressure levels in 1/3-octave bands resemble the shape of the Polish long-term average female speech spectrum, having distinctive maxima at 3–4 and 8–10 kHz which ISTS lacks. As PSTS is representative of Polish language and contains inputs from multiple speakers, it can potentially find an application as a standardized signal used during the procedure of fitting hearing aids for patients that use Polish as their main language.
The impact of musical experience on results concerning sound perception in selected auditory tasks, such as pitch discrimination, pitch-timbre categorization and pitch memorization for blind and visually impaired children and teenagers is discussed. Subjects were divided into three groups: of those with no experience of music, with small musical experience and with substantial musical experience. The blind and visually impaired subjects were investigated, while sighted persons formed reference groups. To date no study has described impact of musical experience on results of such experiments for blind and visually impaired children and teenagers. Our results suggest that blind persons with musical experience may be more sensitive to frequency differences and differences in timbre between two signals as well as may have better short-term auditory memory than blind people with no musical experience. Musical experience of visually impaired persons does not necessary lead to better performance in all conducted auditory tasks.