Beamformer performance limits in monaural and binaural hearing aid applications

TitleBeamformer performance limits in monaural and binaural hearing aid applications
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsGordy, J. D., M. Bouchard, and T. Aboulnasr
Conference NameElectrical and Computer Engineering, 2008. CCECE 2008. Canadian Conference on
Pagination000381 -000386
Date Publishedmay.
Keywordsacoustic arrays, acoustic noise, acoustic signal processing, array signal processing, beamformer algorithm performance limit, binaural filter and sum beamformer, binaural hearing aid, directional microphones, directivity index, directivity pattern, frontal source signal, hearing aids, microphone arrays, microphone signal combining, minimum variance distortionless response, monaural hearing aid, multimicrophone hearing aids, MVDR beamformer, noise gain

This paper investigates the performance limits of beamforming algorithms in monaural and binaural multi-microphone hearing aids. Directional microphones and minimum variance distortionless response (MVDR) beamformer designs are reviewed in the context of hearing aids. A general binaural filter-and-sum beamformer structure is described based on combining microphone signals from right and left hearing aids. The monaural and binaural algorithms are evaluated with respect to directivity pattern, directivity index, and noise gain. Simulation results show that for a frontal source signal, a binaural beamformer is capable of increasing the directivity by approximately 3 dB compared to a single-array beamformer, but with no increase in the noise gain.


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