One of the primary complaints I hear from people with hearing loss is how hard it is to understand what others are saying when there is background noise. As sophisticated as hearing aid technology has become, there is still no solution that is as effective as we would all wish. Part of the problem is the hearing aids don’t know which voice to focus on, so that task is still left to the listener. People who have normal hearing have little trouble separating the signal of interest form the rest of the sounds. The listener with a hearing impairment naturally has a lot more trouble because the brain isn’t receiving all of the information it needs to make such critical decisions.
Researchers at Ohio State University think they have developed a solution. While in its infancy, the software they are developing will attempt to classify and process only the dominant speech and ignore the remaining sounds. Preliminary results are showing an increase of speech-in-noise understanding up to 90 percent. The Ohio State University released information on the project last November; you can read the original article here.
This is definitely exciting research and you can be sure we will keep you informed!