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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.
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