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Transient noise reduction in cochlear implant users: a multi-band approach

Karl-Heinz Dyballa, Phillipp Hehrmann, Volkmar Hamacher, Thomas Lenarz, Andreas Buechner
  • Phillipp Hehrmann
    Advanced Bionics GmbH, Hannover, Germany
  • Volkmar Hamacher
    Advanced Bionics GmbH, Hannover, Germany
  • Thomas Lenarz
    Department of Otolaryngology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany
  • Andreas Buechner
    Department of Otolaryngology, Hannover Medical School, Hannover, Germany

Abstract

A previously-tested transient noise reduction (TNR) algorithm for cochlear implant (CI) users was modified to detect and attenuate transients independently across multiple frequency-bands. Since speech and transient noise are often spectrally distinct, we hypothesized that benefits in speech intelligibility can be achieved over the earlier single- band design. Fifteen experienced CI users (49 to 72 years) were tested unilaterally using pre-processed stimuli delivered directly to a speech processor. Speech intelligibility in transient and soft stationary noise, subjective sound quality and the recognition of warning signals was investigated in three processing conditions: no TNR (TNRoff), single- band TNR (TNRsgl) and multi-band TNR (TNRmult). Notably, TNRmult improved speech reception thresholds (SRTs) in cafeteria noise and office noise by up to 3 dB over both TNRoff and TNRsgl, and yielded higher comfort and clarity ratings in cafeteria noise. Our results indicate that multi-band transient noise reduction may be advantageous compared to a single-band approach, and reveal a substantial overall potential for TNR to improve speech perception and listening comfort in CI users.

Keywords

Cochlear implant; noise reduction; transient; speech intelligibility; comfort.

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Submitted: 2016-04-28 14:06:47
Published: 2016-08-23 15:46:40
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Copyright (c) 2016 Karl-Heinz Dyballa, Phillipp Hehrmann, Volkmar Hamacher, Thomas Lenarz, Andreas Buechner

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