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Multichannel Wiener Filters in Binaural and Bilateral Hearing Aids — Speech Intelligibility Improvement and Robustness to DoA Errors

An adaptive multichannel Wiener Filter (MWF) can be used for joint dereverberation and noise reduction in hearing aids. Using the short time objective intelligibility (STOI) measure, the authors compare bilateral and binaural configurations of the MWF for several cases: (a) different arrival direction of arrival (DoA) of the target speech, (b) different errors in the assumed DoA, and (c) different levels of microphone self-noise. While being much less robust against DoA errors, the binaural MWFs outperformed the bilateral MWF if the correct DoA is assumed. Furthermore, the bilateral MWF was shown to be affected by the microphone self-noise more than the binaural MWFs. A listening test indicated that a well-steered binaural MWF is able to improve the speech intelligibility in a noisy and reverberant speech scenario, and that this improvement is greater than that of the bilateral MWF. This was true despite the fact that the binaural MWF distorted the binaural cues such that no binaural advantage could be obtained. The post-filters of the bilateral and the binaural MWFs significantly improved the measured speech intelligibility because of the particular maximum likelihood spectral estimator that was used to compute the spectral gain of the filters.

JAES Volume 65 Issue 1/2 pp. 8-16; January 2017
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