Hearing aids and music: experimental tests for better algorithm selection and design
reportposted on 01.11.2017, 03:43 by Marcus Wigan, Peter Blamey, Justin Zakis, Jeffery Rosenfeld, John Griffiths
While there is increasingly wide acceptance that music listeners using hearing aids need far more attention that they have been getting in the past, the field is still very thinly populated, and some basic questions have not yet been addressed. This project addresses one of them. There is no suggestion that it does any more, but is designed to provide a foundation for a more substantial study, which will encompass live, recorded, heavily processed and unprocessed music, and delivery compression addition such as MP3, FLAC etc at different resolutions and determine the levels of interaction with algorithms within (or externally handled and communicating with) hearing aids and delineate what can be done at the algorithmic, audiological and personal adjustment domains to improve personal satisfaction with music of various kinds listened to in these
It has established that hearing aid users can make consistent and clear-cut preference decisions on different algorithmic treatments in hearing aids, and do indeed make substantially different judgments for different kinds of music. It is clear that the reference patterns differ substantially between people, and linking their audiology and tastes is now required. The strategies for enhancing their enjoyment of music may require different hearing aid adjustment strategies and algorithms. Live music variations now to be addressed, as all the present feasibility study was restricted to recorded music.
This study has identified a wide range of areas where follow up work would be very desirable, undoubtedly best done in close cooperation with both the relevant industry and the audiology profession as well as the subjects to ensure direct transfer of the results both to product innovation and to operational clinical practice and in aged care. This area as a whole has proved to be substantially under researched and not well understood.