Perceptual Considerations for Multichannel Compression Hearing Aids Digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms in hearing aids have become increasingly more complex since they became commercially available in the mid-1990s. In fact, an informal review of several manufacturers’ product lines revealed DSP hearing aids having between 2 and 24 channels of signal processing. Increasing the number of channels ... Article
Article  |   September 01, 2007
Perceptual Considerations for Multichannel Compression Hearing Aids
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Amyn M. Amlani
    Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of North Texas, Denton, TX
Article Information
Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / Articles
Article   |   September 01, 2007
Perceptual Considerations for Multichannel Compression Hearing Aids
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, September 2007, Vol. 11, 16-22. doi:10.1044/hhd11.1.16
SIG 6 Perspectives on Hearing and Hearing Disorders: Research and Diagnostics, September 2007, Vol. 11, 16-22. doi:10.1044/hhd11.1.16
Digital signal processing (DSP) algorithms in hearing aids have become increasingly more complex since they became commercially available in the mid-1990s. In fact, an informal review of several manufacturers’ product lines revealed DSP hearing aids having between 2 and 24 channels of signal processing. Increasing the number of channels poses several theoretical advantages over single-channel signal processing. For instance, multichannel compression systems can better accommodate variations in hearing threshold and dynamic range by providing differing amounts of gain across channels (Villchur, 1973). Multichannel systems with wide dynamic range compression (WDRC) improve speech intelligibility over single-channel signal processing by providing greater audibility at low-input levels (e.g., Moore & Glasberg, 1986; Souza & Turner, 1998). Further, multichannel compression systems can be designed to be less susceptible to background noise than single-channel compression systems (e.g., Festen, van Dijkhuizen, & Plomp, 1990; Moore, 1990; White, 1986). More recently, a benefit of increasing the number of channels is the availability of acoustic feedback technology (Kuk, Ludvigsen, & Kaulberg, 2002; Olsen, Müsch, & Struck, 2001) and noise reduction technology (Edwards, 2000; Kuk, Ludvigsen, & Paludan-Muller, 2002) in digital hearing aids.
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