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Sep 30

Binaural sound reproduction for the hearing impaired

Thursday, October 6, 2016, 10:00 am to 11:00 am, room F107, INRIA Montbonnot

Seminar by Noam Shabtai, Ben Gourion University

Abstract: In most hearing aids systems, microphone array signal processing algorithms may be employed in order to reduce the noise and enhance the signals that are arriving from specific directions. However, most noise reduction algorithms do not compensate for the loss of binaural cues, such as the interaural time difference (ITD) and the interaual level difference (ILD), which are essential for the spatial perception of the acoustic environment by the listener. As a result of that, the cocktail party effect cannot be triggered in the auditory system of the hearing impaired, who may have had normal hearing in the past, when such hearing devices are used. These binaural cues can be restored using binaural sound reproduction, a method that filters the acoustic plane- wave amplitude density function with the head-related transfer functions (HRTFs). Recently, a unified framework is developed, so that binaural sound reproduction can be employed alongside with signal enhancement. This framework was specifically developed by the presenter, and the motivation of its integration in the future design of hearing aids is discussed.