People with hearing loss encounter commonly struggle to focus on the acoustical signal of interest, often times speech, when background noise is also present. Background noise often consists of surrounding sounds from traffic, machines, ventilation, and kitchen noise, but may also include noise from other people's speech.
In order to address this challenge, hearing -aid manufacturers have used different approaches to improve signal-to-noise ratios, mainly by implementing noise reduction (NR) algorithms in their products. As these algorithms can function in different ways, there is a demand for test methods which are able to evaluate and quantify the performance and benefit of different NR systems.
In several research projects, ORCA Europe has compared and assessed these test methods. For example, we have studied the effect of different NR algorithms and investigated objective measures to predict the performance of NR algorithms.