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

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.

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Correspondence to Martin Kompis.

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Open Access This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 International License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Kompis, M., Bertram, M., Senn, P. et al. A Two-Microphone Noise Reduction System for Cochlear Implant Users with Nearby Microphones—Part II: Performance Evaluation. EURASIP J. Adv. Signal Process. 2008, 451273 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1155/2008/451273

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Keywords

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