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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 40  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 23-30

Speech perception in noise and localization performance of digital noise reduction algorithm in hearing aids with ear-to-ear synchronization

1 Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru, Karnataka, India
2 Department of Rehabilitation Health Sciences, College of Applied Medical Sciences, King Saud University, Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
3 Hearfon Systems Pvt Ltd, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Geetha Chinnaraj
Department of Audiology, All India Institute of Speech and Hearing, Mysuru 570006, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jose.JOSE_4_21

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Purpose: The present study aimed to compare speech perception in noise and horizontal localization with and without activating digital noise reduction (DNR) in hearing aids with and without an ear-to-ear synchronization. Materials and Methods: Twenty-five listeners with mild-to-moderate bilateral sensorineural hearing loss, aged between 18 and 55 years, were the participants. Each participant’s horizontal sound-source localization performance was measured as a root-mean-square degree of error. Speech recognition in the presence of speech babble noise was measured as the signal-to-noise ratio required for 50% recognition score (SNR-50). Further, SNR-50 was measured with noise source from four different directions and was recorded in four aided conditions, with and without an independent activation of wireless link and DNR. Results: Results showed that wireless synchronization technology in hearing aids improved localization and speech perception in noise under certain conditions. Adding the activation of DNR improved the overall performance in the horizontal sound-source localization task. However, the amount of improvement in speech perception in noise with the activation of wireless synchronization and/or DNR depended on the spatial separation between the direction of speech and the noise. Conclusions: The activation of DNR and wireless synchronization in hearing aids showed a better performance in assessed parameters in the current study. However, the improvement in scores may or may not be beneficial to the listener, depending on the direction of noise and speech.

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