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Functionality of hearing aids: State-of-the-art and future model-based solutions

: Kollmeier, B.; Kiessling, J.


International journal of audiology 57 (2018), Supplement 3, S.S3-S28
ISSN: 1499-2027 (print)
ISSN: 1708-8186 (Online)
Fraunhofer IDMT ()

A review about technical and perceptual factors in hearing aid technology, research and development is provided, covering current commercial solutions, underlying models of hearing loss for usage in hearing devices and emerging future technical solutions for hearing aid functionalities. A chain of techniques has provided incremental, but steady increases in user benefit, e.g. in the fields of hearing aid amplification, feedback suppression, dynamic compression, noise reduction and situation adaptation. The models describing the perceptual consequences of sensorineural hearing impairment describe the effects on the acoustical level, the neurosensory level and the cognitive level and provide the framework for compensatory (or even substitutional) functions of hearing aids in terms of the attenuation component, the distortion component and the neural component of the hearing loss. A major factor is the requirement of a strong individualisation of hearing aid solutions calling for an appropriate assessment of the different sensorineural components of a hearing loss, especially with respect to bilateral and binaural hearing aid solutions.