Deaf News: Cambridge researchers declare breakthrough against hearing aid background noise

Posted on October 29, 2013

The common problem of background noise making speech unintelligible for hearing aid wearers is one step closer to being solved, say researchers from Cambridge University’s engineering department.

Clever computer programs inside hearing aids are being developed to recognise background sounds and eliminate them. They could be available within ten-years.

Extract from Cambridge News:

Led by Dr Richard Turner, the research could forever remove sounds such as wind, traffic and talking, which affect people’s aids.

Dr Turner said: “The poor performance of current hearing devices in noise is a major reason why six million people in the UK who would benefit from a hearing aid do not use them.”

“Many interfering noises are immediately recognisable. Raindrops patter on a surface, a fire crackles, talkers babble at a party and the wind howls. But what makes these so-called auditory textures sound the way they do? “No two rain sounds are identical because the precise arrangement of falling water droplets is never repeated. Nonetheless, there must be a statistical similarity in the sounds compared with, say, the crackle of a fire.”

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