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Evaluation of a telephone speech-enhancement algorithm among older adults with hearing loss.

Research paper by Christina M CM Roup, Gayla L GL Poling, Kimberly K Harhager, Ashok A Krishnamurthy, Lawrence L LL Feth

Indexed on: 08 Jun '11Published on: 08 Jun '11Published in: Journal of speech, language, and hearing research : JSLHR



Abstract

In this study, the authors evaluated a processing algorithm aimed at improving speech recognition via the telephone among older adults with sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL).Thirty older adults with SNHL participated. Speech recognition was measured in quiet using the Modified Rhyme Test (MRT; Kreul et al., 1968) and the Speech Perception in Noise (SPIN; Bilger et al., 1984) sentences, and in noise using the Quick Speech in Noise (QSIN; Killion et al., 2004) test. Each test was presented via the telephone with and without processing.Significant improvements in recognition performance due to processing were observed for the SPIN and QSIN. The improvement on the QSIN was significantly greater than on the MRT and SPIN, likely because the MRT and SPIN sentences were presented in quiet, whereas the QSIN was presented in noise. Significant improvements in recognition performance were observed for both an offline version and a real-time version of the algorithm relative to the unprocessed condition, although no difference was noted between the 2 versions.Results indicate that preprocessing the acoustic signal is a viable method of improving speech recognition via the telephone. The algorithm has the potential to benefit older adults with SNHL who struggle to communicate via the telephone with or without hearing aids.