An Auditory-Masking-Threshold-Based Noise Suppression Algorithm GMMSE-AMT[ERB] for Listeners with Sensorineural Hearing Loss
© Natarajan et al. 2005
Received: 6 May 2004
Published: 10 November 2005
This study describes a new noise suppression scheme for hearing aid applications based on the auditory masking threshold (AMT) in conjunction with a modified generalized minimum mean square error estimator (GMMSE) for individual subjects with hearing loss. The representation of cochlear frequency resolution is achieved in terms of auditory filter equivalent rectangular bandwidths (ERBs). Estimation of AMT and spreading functions for masking are implemented in two ways: with normal auditory thresholds and normal auditory filter bandwidths (GMMSE-AMT[ERB]-NH) and with elevated thresholds and broader auditory filters characteristic of cochlear hearing loss (GMMSE-AMT[ERB]-HI). Evaluation is performed using speech corpora with objective quality measures (segmental SNR, Itakura-Saito), along with formal listener evaluations of speech quality rating and intelligibility. While no measurable changes in intelligibility occurred, evaluations showed quality improvement with both algorithm implementations. However, the customized formulation based on individual hearing losses was similar in performance to the formulation based on the normal auditory system.