Investigating the Effects of Four Auditory Profiles on Speech Recognition, Overall Quality, and Noise Annoyance With Simulated Hearing-Aid Processing Strategies

Mengfan Wu*, Raul Sanchez Lopez, Mouhamad El-Haj-Ali, Silje G. Nielsen, Michal Fereczkowski, Torsten Dau, Sébastien Santurette, Tobias Neher

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Abstract

Effective hearing aid (HA) rehabilitation requires personalization of the HA fitting parameters, but in current clinical practice only the gain prescription is typically individualized. To optimize the fitting process, advanced HA settings such as noise reduction and microphone directionality can also be tailored to individual hearing deficits. In two earlier studies, an auditory test battery and a data-driven approach that allow classifying hearing-impaired listeners into four auditory profiles were developed. Because these profiles were found to be characterized by markedly different hearing abilities, it was hypothesized that more tailored HA fittings would lead to better outcomes for such listeners. Here, we explored potential interactions between the four auditory profiles and HA outcome as assessed with three different measures (speech recognition, overall quality, and noise annoyance) and six HA processing strategies with various noise reduction, directionality, and compression settings. Using virtual acoustics, a realistic speech-in-noise environment was simulated. The stimuli were generated using a HA simulator and presented to 49 habitual HA users who had previously been profiled. The four auditory profiles differed clearly in terms of their mean aided speech reception thresholds, thereby implying different needs in terms of signal-to-noise ratio improvement. However, no clear interactions with the tested HA processing strategies were found. Overall, these findings suggest that the auditory profiles can capture some of the individual differences in HA processing needs and that further research is required to identify suitable HA solutions for them.
Original languageEnglish
JournalTrends in Hearing
Volume24
Number of pages12
ISSN2331-2165
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Hearing aids
  • Signal processing
  • Speech perception
  • Perceptual evaluation
  • Individualization

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