The effect of a linked bilateral noise reduction processing on speech in noise performance

Jorge Mejia, Gitte Keidser, Harvey Dillon, Cong Van Nguyen, Earl E. Johnson

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

Abstract

Directional processing already provides tangible noise reduction benefits in hearing aids but further improvement is needed for hearing-impaired listeners to communicate as effectively as normal-hearing listeners in noisy environments. The objective of this study was to investigate if a binaurally linked beamformer could further improve the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Speech reception thresholds (SRT) and spatial perception were compared for bilaterally fitted cardioid microphones and two binaurally linked beamformer processing conditions; 1) a single audio stream output to the two ears, and 2) two audio stream outputs which preserved spatial cues. 10 normal-hearing and 22 hearing-impaired listeners were recruited for this study. The strategies were implemented on a real-time PC processing platform, wired to a pair of behind-the-ear devices via a sound interface. A speech-in-noise test was administered using the Bamford-Kowal-Bench (BKB) sentences targeting the SNR for which 75% correct keywords were identified in spatially separated multi-talker babble noise and room reverberation. The SNR level at which the listeners acquired 95% intelligibility from continues speech discourse material, using a male and a female talker, was also obtained. Sound amplification was provided according to NAL-NL2. Both beamformer conditions improved the SRTs relative to the conventional cardioids, but by a greater degree for the hearing-impaired listeners, and more convincingly at the higher SRTs.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 3rd International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research (ISAAR)
EditorsTorsten Dau, Morten Løve Jepsen, Jakob Christensen-Dalsgaard, Torben Poulsen
PublisherThe Danavox Jubilee Foundation
Pages401-408
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventInternational Symposium on Audiological and Auditory Research (3rd : 2011) - Nyborg, Denmark
Duration: 24 Aug 201126 Aug 2011

Publication series

NameProceedings of the International Symposium on Auditory and Audiological Research
ISSN (Print)2596-5514
ISSN (Electronic)2596-5522

Conference

ConferenceInternational Symposium on Audiological and Auditory Research (3rd : 2011)
CityNyborg, Denmark
Period24/08/1126/08/11

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