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

Mengfan Wu, Mouhamad El-Haj-Ali, Raul Sanchez Lopez, Michal Fereczkowski, Federica Bianchi, Torsten Dau, Sébastien Santurette, Tobias Neher

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearch

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Abstract

BACKGROUND
The Better 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 assessed at fixed input SNRs that were selected based on individual speech reception threshold 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 differences 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.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date16. Aug 2018
Publication statusPublished - 16. Aug 2018
EventInternational Hearing Aid Research Conference (IHCON) - Granlibakken Conference Center, Lake Tahoe, United States
Duration: 15. Aug 201819. Aug 2018
https://ihcon.org/

Conference

ConferenceInternational Hearing Aid Research Conference (IHCON)
LocationGranlibakken Conference Center
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityLake Tahoe
Period15/08/201819/08/2018
Internet address

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