Speech intelligibility enhancement using hearing-aid array processing

Gabrielle H. Saunders, James M. Kates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Microphone arrays can improve speech recognition in noise for hearing- impaired listeners by suppressing interference coming from other than the desired signal direction. In a previous paper [J. M. Kates and M. R. Weiss, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 99, 3138-3148 (1996)], several array-processing techniques were evaluated in two rooms using the AI-weighted array gain as the performance metric. The array consisted of five omnidirectional microphones having uniform 2.5-cm spacing, oriented in the endfire direction. In this paper, the speech intelligibility for two of the array processing techniques, delay-and-sum beamforming and superdirective processing, is evaluated for a group of hearing-impaired subjects. Speech intelligibility was measured using the speech reception threshold (SRT) for spondees and speech intelligibility rating (SIR) for sentence materials. The array performance is compared with that for a single omnidirectional microphone and a single directional microphone having a cardioid response pattern. The SRT and SIR results show that the superdirective array processing was the most effective, followed by the cardioid microphone, the array using delay-and- sum beamforming, and the single omnidirectional microphone. The relative processing ratings do not appear to be strongly affected by the size of the room, and the SRT values determined using isolated spondees are similar to the SIR values produced from continuous discourse.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1827-1837
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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