Participatory enquiry for a bionic voice

Martin Hagmüller, Anna Katharina Fuchs, Corinna Bath

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


People who have lost their larynx and thus speech functionality need a substitution voice to regain speech. Three main approaches exist, all of which have severe disadvantages. Previously, we have been working on improving the state-of-the-art for an electronic speaking aid. The current stage of our project has a special focus on a gender appropriate voice for laryngectomised speakers. To better understand the needs of the potential users of a bionic voice we adopted a participatory inquiry that involved interaction with 17 people without a larynx, of which 9 were female. All common substitution voices were used in the test sample. We spent between 1.5 and 6 hours with the individuals per session and had one to four visits. We learned that for all of them a natural voice is important. Most of the laryngectomees reject the use of a speaking aid, because of its bad sound. Women were specifically against the speaking aid. Desired properties of a bionic voice were an assertive voice, a voice matching ones personality. Women want to be recognized as female and have an attractive voice. They suffer from the low fundamental frequency of all substitution voices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 10th International Workshop Models and analysis of vocal emissions for biomedical applications
EditorsClaudia Manfredi
PublisherFirenze University Press
ISBN (Electronic)978-88-6453-607-1
ISBN (Print)978-88-6453-606-4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Participatory enquiry for a bionic voice'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Projects

    HumanEVoice - Gender-appropriate human voice using an artificial larynx

    Hagmüller, M. & Fuchs, A. K.


    Project: Research project


    • 1 Invited talk
    • 1 Invited talk at conference or symposium

    Diversitätsaspekte einer elektronischen Sprechhilfe

    Martin Hagmüller (Speaker)
    29 Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talkScience to science

    A bionic speaking aid

    Martin Hagmüller (Speaker)
    19 Oct 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentationInvited talk at conference or symposiumScience to science

    Cite this

    Hagmüller, M., Fuchs, A. K., & Bath, C. (2017). Participatory enquiry for a bionic voice. In C. Manfredi (Ed.), Proceedings of the 10th International Workshop Models and analysis of vocal emissions for biomedical applications (pp. 35-38). Firenze University Press.