Improving signal processing in hearing aids to support music and emotional speech
Hearing aid research has traditionally focused on improving speech intelligibility for people with hearing loss, but there is increasing interest in addressing other aspects of hearing that contribute to quality of life, particularly music and other non-linguistic information. Listening to music through hearing aids is often dissatisfying due to distortions introduced by current algorithms. Hearing aids restore the intelligibility but not the emotional content of speech, which is carried by acoustic cues that are similar to salient dimensions of music. This project aims to refine hearing aid processing for music and to assess whether signal processing can clarify the emotional content of speech without compromising intelligibility. The partner organization will benefit from the advancement of hearing aid technology to better support hearing in everyday life. In particular, these advancements may lead more people with hearing impairment to adopt hearing aids and result in greater adherence to hearing aid use.