Influence of wearing hearing aids on speech intelligibility in spatial scenarios for normal-hearing listeners

Tag / Zeit: 17.08.2021, 09:00-09:20
Raum: Lehar 3
Typ: Regulärer Vortrag
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Zusammenfassung: Hearing aids provide hearing-impaired people with many benefits, but they can also have negative effects on perception like an impaired ability to localize and discriminate sounds, as well as to understand speech in noise. This is especially detrimental in patients with a mild hearing impairment, or for normal-hearing users of similar devices like hearables. The origin and interplay between these ‘side effects’ of hearing aids is not yet fully clear. To gain further understanding on the effect of hearing aids on spatial cognition and speech intelligibility, we equipped normal-hearing listeners with linear hearing aids providing no amplification or signal enhancement, and measured the speech reception thresholds in complex spatial listening scenarios. These scenarios included collocated speech and noise, speech spatially separated from four distributed noise sources, and a condition where the speech source randomly changed its position. Preliminary data verify a negative effect of wearing hearing aids on speech intelligibility both in general, as well as on spatial release from masking. Based on the data and acoustic directional cue analyses, we discuss the origin of reduced speech intelligibility in noise when wearing hearing aids, and possible interactions with spatial perception of sound.