Sponsor:

Partner:

Phonak Communications

Full title: Binaural Hearing-Aids with Localization and Spatialization

The BHA(L&S) CTI-funded project is a technology transfer collaboration between EPFL, and Phonak Communication ag (Morat/Murten), a leader in the domain of wireless miniature audio communication systems.

Context

With actual hearing aids systems, a wireless microphone transmits the voice of a speaker to miniature radio receivers attached to 2 hearings aids to improve the intelligibility. However, the existing hearing-aids technologies do not allow the rendering of spatial cues of a sound source, which are known to improve the intelligibility of speech for normal-hearing people. This project aims at developping technical solutions to implement localization and spatialization features for two hearing aids, with the constraints of reliability and very low power consumption.

Objectives

New wireless microphones systems should allow the hearing impaired to aurally identify, even with closed eyes, the location of the person speaking. This requires to develop signal processing features allowing to retrieve a sound source localization out of the 2 hearing-aids microphone, and simultaneously render the spatial sound sources position through spatialization techniques. This new technology will be used in classrooms and conference rooms for better listening quality (intelligibility, immersion, social relationships).

Additional information

Status: finished (started on December 1, 2012 - end on September 30th, 2014)

Related publications: