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Improved Hearing Aid

Feeback cancellation

With the rise in noise levels in an urban world, hearing impairment is common. Hearing aids are a boon for the affected. There is a continuous effort to make hearing aids better in terms of comfort and usability. Hearing aid developers find it challenging to capture and transform sound in the right manner and convey it through tiny machines. One major hurdle has been acoustic feedback. Acoustic feedback affects the quality of sound in a traditional mechanism of fixed filtering.

A team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar recently proposed a filtering approach that is an improvement over the traditional feedback cancellation task. The regular behind-the-ear aids use a fixed correlation filter which is not optimally effective for speech signals. The team used an alternative algorithm which includes an adaptive correlation filter to arrive at better convergence of speech and other sound input signals.

The simulation results over two case studies show that the perceptual evaluation of speech quality is consistently on the higher side.

To imitate the functions of a human organ as delicate and complex as the ear needs years of focused research. Suggestions and comments from users lead to small incremental improvements. This research work brings hope for people who are always on the lookout to make daily life better, to manage their impairments in smarter ways.

Applied Acoustics,122: 138–145 (2017)

Sudarshana Dhar

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