Hearing loss is one of the most common chronic diseases. For people with hearing loss, communicating with other people, particularly in an environment with considerable background noise, is difficult. Recently, several hearing aids have been developed to improve speech comprehension in a noisy environment. The use of an adaptive beamformer is one of the alternative methods for improving speech intelligibility. However, the adaptive beamformer requires the location of the desired speaker to estimate the time differences of arrival (TDOAs) of speech sources to numerous spatially separated sensors in acoustics. In general, the technique of steered response power source localization was used to estimate the TDOA; however, this technique was easily affected by environmental reverberation. To overcome the aforementioned concern, a novel hearing aid is proposed in this paper. By using an image processing technology, the location of the desired speaker could be manually selected to provide precise information on the TDOA. Moreover, adaptive signal enhancements were implemented in a field-programmable gate array to enhance the speech of interest in real time. The experimental results indicate that the proposed system could improve speech intelligibility in various noisy environments. Therefore, the proposed system may be employed to improve the daily lives of people with hearing the loss in the future.
- Hearing aid
- adaptive beamformer
- field programmable gate array
- image processing technology
- time difference of arrival