Sub-Band Noise Reduction in Multi-Channel Digital Hearing Aid

Qingyun WANG  Ruiyu LIANG  Li JING  Cairong ZOU  Li ZHAO  

Publication
IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Information and Systems   Vol.E99-D   No.1   pp.292-295
Publication Date: 2016/01/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1361
DOI: 10.1587/transinf.2015EDL8162
Type of Manuscript: LETTER
Category: Speech and Hearing
Keyword: 
sub-band noise reduction,  multi-channel digital hearing aid,  adaptive Wiener filtering,  modulation frequency-based noise reduction,  

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Summary: 
Since digital hearing aids are sensitive to time delay and power consumption, the computational complexity of noise reduction must be reduced as much as possible. Therefore, some complicated algorithms based on the analysis of the time-frequency domain are very difficult to implement in digital hearing aids. This paper presents a new approach that yields an improved noise reduction algorithm with greatly reduce computational complexity for multi-channel digital hearing aids. First, the sub-band sound pressure level (SPL) is calculated in real time. Then, based on the calculated sub-band SPL, the noise in the sub-band is estimated and the possibility of speech is computed. Finally, a posteriori and a priori signal-to-noise ratios are estimated and the gain function is acquired to reduce the noise adaptively. By replacing the FFT and IFFT transforms by the known SPL, the proposed algorithm greatly reduces the computation loads. Experiments on a prototype digital hearing aid show that the time delay is decreased to nearly half that of the traditional adaptive Wiener filtering and spectral subtraction algorithms, but the SNR improvement and PESQ score are rather satisfied. Compared with modulation frequency-based noise reduction algorithm, which is used in many commercial digital hearing aids, the proposed algorithm achieves not only more than 5dB SNR improvement but also less time delay and power consumption.