Video 10 2018
“An acoustically transparent hearing system”
Current hearing aids offer good support to people with impaired hearing, however, the sound quality of most devices is often unnatural and therefore not very satisfactory. This significantly reduces the acceptance of hearing aids, especially among potential first-time users with a mild to moderate hearing loss. Open fits avoid part of these problems, but at the expense of significantly reduced effectiveness of noise reduction algorithms and limited gain.
To overcome these issues, we shall present the concept and prototype construction of an “acoustically transparent” hearing system based on a novel earmould with three microphones. Although it occludes the ear, it is electroacoustically adjusted in such a way that the listening impression is the same as with an open ear, making the device sound very natural. Once the device is inserted into the ear, this setting is made automatically by utilising an internal microphone in the auditory canal.
In this lecture, we shall outline the principles as well as subjective and objective evaluation results for the prototype. Furthermore, we shall give an overview of current research. Ongoing work focusses on acoustic and psychoacoustic aspects in establishing acoustic transparency, electroacoustic modelling, and feedback suppression.