The influence of noise type on the preferred setting of a noise reduction algorithm
Despite the frequent application of noise reduction in hearing aids, there is little research on user preference for different settings of noise reduction. We therefore measured individual preference for noise reduction strength for speech that was embedded in background noise. In a laboratory experiment, three types of noise (speech shaped stationary noise, party babble, and traffic noise) were processed with two single- channel noise reduction algorithms. Ten normal-hearing and seven hearing-impaired subjects participated. The preference for strength of noise reduction differed between the noise types and this was consistent for the two different noise reduction algorithms. The inter-individual spread between hearing-impaired listeners was as large as between normal-hearing listeners and as a consequence we found no systematic differences between the groups. These results support earlier findings that an individual tuning of noise reduction parameters is important. Furthermore, the results suggest that it could be beneficial to adaptively change the setting of noise reduction in a hearing aid, depending on the type of background noise.
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