Hearing aid processing strategies for listeners with different auditory profiles: Insights from the BEAR project

Mengfan Wu (Guest lecturer), Mouhamad El-Haj-Ali (Guest lecturer), Sanchez Lopez, R. (Guest lecturer), Fereczkowski, M. (Guest lecturer), Federica Bianchi (Guest lecturer), Santurette, S. (Guest lecturer), Dau, T. (Guest lecturer), Tobias Neher (Guest lecturer)

Activity: Talks and presentationsConference presentations

Description

Background:
TheBetter hEAring Rehabilitation (BEAR) project pursues the development and evaluation of new clinically feasible strategies for individual hearing loss diagnosis and hearing aid fitting. Two essential elements of this research are the design of a new diagnostic test battery for identifying different auditory profiles and linking those profiles to hearing aid processing strategies.
The current study focused on establishing links between four auditory profiles and benefit from six hearing aid processing strategies.
Methods:
Participants were 30 older individuals with bilateral mild-to-severe sensorineural hearing losses who were selected from a clinical population of hearing aid users. Speech-in-noise stimuli were generated with the help of a hearing aid simulator that included directional processing, noise reduction and dynamic range compression. Stimulus presentation was via headphones. Six hearing
aid settings that differed in terms of signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) improvement and temporal and spectral speech distortions were selected for testing based on a comprehensive technical evaluation of different parameterisations of the hearing aid simulator. Speech-in-
noise perception was as-sessed at fixed input SNRs that were selected based on individual speech reception threshold (SRT50) measurements. Participants were required to recognize five-word, low-context sentences
embedded in two realistic noise backgrounds. In addition, overall preference and noise annoyance were assessed using a multiple stimulus comparison
paradigm.
Results:
We hypothesize that the perceptual outcomes from the six hearing aid settings will differ across listeners with different auditory profiles. More specifically, we expect listeners showing high sensitivity to temporal and spectral differ
ences to perform best with and/or to favour hearing aid settings that preserve those cues. In contrast, we expect listeners showing low sensitivity to temporal and spectral differences to perform best with and/or to favour settings that maximize SNR improvement, independent of any additional speech distortions. Altogether, we anticipate that these findings will provide the basis for more individualized fitting strategies to be implemented in wearable hearing aids.
Period16 Aug 2018
Event titleInternational Hearing Aid Conference 2018
Event typeConference
LocationTahoe, United States, California