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Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(4), 335; doi:10.3390/app7040335

Piecewise-Linear Frequency Shifting Algorithm for Frequency Resolution Enhancement in Digital Hearing Aids

1
School of Communication Engineering, Nanjing Institute of Technology, Nanjing 211167, Jiangsu, China
2
School of Information Science and Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, Jiangsu, China
3
Center of Intelligent Acoustics and Immersive Speech Communication, Northwestern Polytechnical University, Xi’an 710072, Shaanxi, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: César M. A. Vasques
Received: 6 December 2016 / Revised: 22 March 2017 / Accepted: 25 March 2017 / Published: 29 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Acoustics)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1475 KB, uploaded 31 March 2017]   |  

Abstract

In human hearing, frequency resolution is a term used to determine how well the ear can separate and distinguish two sounds that are close in frequency. This capability of breaking speech sounds into various frequency components plays a key role in processing and understanding speech information. In this paper, a piecewise-linear frequency shifting algorithm for digital hearing aids is proposed. The algorithm specifically aims at improving the frequency resolution capability. In the first step, frequency discrimination thresholds are processed by a computer testing software. Then, the input signal is parsed through the proposed piecewise-linear frequency shifting algorithm, which comprises of linearly stretching and compressing the frequency content at different frequency ranges. Experimental results showed that by using the proposed frequency shifting algorithm, the separation of formant tracks was increased in the stretching region and slightly squeezed in the adjacent compression region. Subjective assessment on six hearing-impaired persons with V-shaped audiograms demonstrated that nearly a 10% improvement of speech discrimination score was achieved for monosyllabic word lists tested in a quiet acoustic setting. In addition, the speech reception threshold was also improved by 2~8 dB when disyllabic word listswere tested in a noisy acoustic scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: hearing aids; frequency discrimination threshold; piecewise-linear frequency shifting algorithm; speech discrimination score; speech reception threshold hearing aids; frequency discrimination threshold; piecewise-linear frequency shifting algorithm; speech discrimination score; speech reception threshold
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MDPI and ACS Style

Wang, Q.; Liang, R.; Rahardja, S.; Zhao, L.; Zou, C.; Zhao, L. Piecewise-Linear Frequency Shifting Algorithm for Frequency Resolution Enhancement in Digital Hearing Aids. Appl. Sci. 2017, 7, 335.

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