Preservation of Spectral Modulations and Restoration of Binaural Loudness Perception to Improve Speech Intelligibility and Loudness Perception for Listeners with Hearing Loss

Tag / Zeit: 18.08.2021, 15:20-15:40
Raum: Schubert 4+5
Typ: Regulärer Vortrag
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Zusammenfassung: Listeners with hearing loss often do not only show increased hearing thresholds, but also supra-threshold phenomena such as recruitment, i.e. the perceived loudness increases over-proportionally at high levels. Therefore, these listeners have a reduced dynamic range. Their speech recognition performance in noise can be further reduced due to a degradation of the internal sound representation.In common hearing aid fitting, the gain prescription rules are mainly based on monaural, narrowband measurements of hearing thresholds and do not consider the perceived loudness of natural broadband signals. Furthermore, simulations based on automatic speech recognition hint at the importance of spectral modulations on speech recognition in noise. Here, a new fitting procedure that aims to restore loudness perception of binaural broadband signals is combined with a dynamic range compressor that preserves important spectral modulations.To investigate its effect on speech and loudness perception, measurements of the speech reception threshold and loudness ratings were carried out for different types of noise signals, gain rules and dynamic range compression strategies with normal-hearing and hearing-impaired listeners. These empirical results were additionally compared to individually simulated predictions.