Georgia Tech Research Institute

Audio Output (5 of 7)

Issue: Voice output is difficult to understand due to poor sound quality or interference.

Voice output may be difficult for some users to understand because the device's speakers are not capable of reproducing the voice output clearly and without distortion, particularly at higher volumes. Other sounds that accompany voice output, such as background music, may also make it more difficult for users to understand the content of voice messages.

Populations Impacted: Users who are blind; users with low vision; users who are hard of hearing; users with cognitive impairments.

Potential Solutions:
  • Ensure that the device's speakers are capable of reproducing voice output legibly through the full range of output volumes. The range of volume available should be implemented as described in Section 508 guideline 1194.25(f). The speakers used in the device should be tested to ensure that they are capable of reproducing voice output clearly and without distortion through the entire range of volume adjustments.

  • Avoid background music or other sounds that may reduce the legibility of voice output. Background music or other sound effects that are played back at the same time as voice output messages may be distracting, and may reduce the legibility of the voice output.

  • Ensure that information conveyed by voice is accompanied by a redundant visual presentation. Providing redundant visual information (for example, via on-screen text or graphics) may help users who are hard of hearing obtain the information.

Applicable Guidelines:
ADA-ABA - 707.5
Section 508 - 1194.25(f), 1194.31(a), 1194.31(b), 1194.31(c), 1194.31(d)
Section 255 - 1193.43(e)(2)(a), 1193.43(e)(2)(e)
HFDS -,,,