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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

A Two-Microphone Noise Reduction System for Cochlear Implant Users with Nearby Microphones—Part II: Performance Evaluation

  • 1Email author,
  • 1, 2,
  • 1,
  • 3,
  • 4 and
  • 1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20082008:451273

https://doi.org/10.1155/2008/451273

Received: 27 November 2007

Accepted: 20 March 2008

Published: 8 April 2008

Abstract

Users of cochlear implants (auditory aids, which stimulate the auditory nerve electrically at the inner ear) often suffer from poor speech understanding in noise. We evaluate a small (intermicrophone distance 7 mm) and computationally inexpensive adaptive noise reduction system suitable for behind-the-ear cochlear implant speech processors. The system is evaluated in simulated and real, anechoic and reverberant environments. Results from simulations show improvements of 3.4 to 9.3 dB in signal to noise ratio for rooms with realistic reverberation and more than 18 dB under anechoic conditions. Speech understanding in noise is measured in 6 adult cochlear implant users in a reverberant room, showing average improvements of 7.9–9.6 dB, when compared to a single omnidirectional microphone or 1.3–5.6 dB, when compared to a simple directional two-microphone device. Subjective evaluation in a cafeteria at lunchtime shows a preference of the cochlear implant users for the evaluated device in terms of speech understanding and sound quality.

Keywords

  • Cochlear Implant
  • Auditory Nerve
  • Average Improvement
  • Sound Quality
  • Cochlear Implant User

Publisher note

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Authors’ Affiliations

(1)
Department of ENT, Head and Neck Surgery Inselspital, University of Berne, Bern, Switzerland
(2)
Bernafon Inc., Bern, Switzerland
(3)
ENT clinic of the University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany
(4)
Clinique O.R.L., Hôpital Universitaire de Genève, Genève, Switzerland

Copyright

© Martin Kompis et al. 2008

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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