Wide-band Compensation of Presbycusis

C. Grasso, D. Quaglia, L. Farinetti, G. Fiorio, and J.C. De Martin (Italy)


Wide-Band Filtering, Presbycusis, Intelligibility, Diagnos tic Rhyme Test


This paper deals with a wide-band audio filtering technique for the compensation of presbycusis. Instead of restor ing frequencies only up to 4 kHz (obtaining telephone like quality), we propose to preserve frequency compo nents up to 8 kHz, however possibly attenuated by unre coverable hearing loss. Wideband speech, in fact, car ries important perceptual information that enhances both speech naturalness and intelligibility. A filtering technique that compensates hearing loss up to a given cut-off fre quency is presented. A formal Diagnostic Rhyme Test was performed to test the intelligibility of speech processed us ing the proposed technique versus regular telephoneband width speech. The results show a significant intelligibility gain, proving the potential of wide-band hearing aids for the compensation of presbycusis.

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