The effect of multi-channel wide dynamic range compression, noise reduction, and the directional microphone on horizontal localization performance in hearing aid wearers

Gitte Keidser*, Kristin Rohrseitz, Harvey Dillon, Volkmar Hamacher, Lyndal Carter, Uwe Rass, Elizabeth Convery

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

72 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This study examined the effect that signal processing strategies used in modern hearing aids, such as multi-channel WDRC, noise reduction, and directional microphones have on interaural difference cues and horizontal localization performance relative to linear, time-invariant amplification. Twelve participants were bilaterally fitted with BTE devices. Horizontal localization testing using a 360° loudspeaker array and broadband pulsed pink noise was performed two weeks, and two months, post-fitting. The effect of noise reduction was measured with a constant noise present at 80° azimuth. Data were analysed independently in the left/right and front/back dimension and showed that of the three signal processing strategies, directional microphones had the most significant effect on horizontal localization performance and over time. Specifically, a cardioid microphone could decrease front/back errors over time, whereas left/right errors increased when different microphones were fitted to left and right ears. Front/back confusions were generally prominent. Objective measurements of interaural differences on KEMAR explained significant shifts in left/right errors. In conclusion, there is scope for improving the sense of localization in hearing aid users.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)563-579
Number of pages17
JournalInternational Journal of Audiology
Volume45
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Amplification
  • Behind-the-ear device
  • Directional microphone
  • Front/back confusions
  • Horizontal localization
  • Interaural difference measurements
  • KEMAR
  • Multi-channel wide dynamic range compression
  • Noise reduction

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