Analysis of the Directional Characteristics of Hearing Aids in a Situation with two Speakers
* Presenting author
Modern hearing aids can not only gain sounds but can also help to easier understand speech in noisy situations. Beside the noise reduction, directional microphones are an important feature, which can increases signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In situations where speech and noise come from different directions, the hearing aid can focus on the direction of speech. However, in many situation, people talk to more than one person so that speech comes from different directions. The question arises what directional characteristic a hearing aid chooses in theses situations.Therefore, in this work, the directional characteristics of hearing aids in a situation with two speakers is analyzed. To this end, binaural coupled hearing aids of six different manufacturers were placed on a KEMAR and sound was presented from eight directions. Two different configurations with speech coming from ±45° and 0°/90° were considered, and noise was presented from all other directions. The extended phase inversion method was used to analyze the directional characteristic of the hearing aid, and to compute the SNR for each speech source. The results reveal different strategies of the manufacturers and show a higher benefit of the directional microphones in the situation with speech coming from ±45°.